Destinations Magazine

Le Clown Bar in the 11th: A Great Resuscitation of a Grand Old Lady.

By Johntalbott

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7.2 Le Clown Bar, 114 rue Amelot in the 11th,, (Metro: Filles du Calvaire), closed Monday and Tuesday, is a place I hadn't been to in years and when a fellow blogger suggested we go today with a friend of hers, I hesitated - "that tired old place?" I thought.  But no, it was a grand old lady that has been resuscitated by a bunch of folks from Saturne (Sven Chartier and Ewen Lemoigne) and Vivant (chef Sota Atsumi) and it's a hit already, packed today with fellow chefs, bloggers and locals.  The carte is most interesting and as you will see, most tasty.

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As my dining partners entered, a wine I had spied as interesting - Alain Allier's Aqui Lou (greache 90%, cinsault 10%) - arrived and I struggled with the cool utensil drawer to set my table.  We ordered away.

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My blogger friend started with incredible beignets of live snails with smoky mayo, her friend had a poulpe salad that was good and my 3 langoustines were terrific except for a differentmayo, this too lemony for my taste. We were gasping after that course.

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Then M. had the lieu jaune (pollock) with white asparagus and fluff which I thought was fine but he thought lacked oomph; Madame had shredded duck with a forcement of its innards that was gutsy and rich; and I had a superb serving of moist brains with coques and new potatoes - all very yummy.

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We settled on a single platter of cheese (superb) and a tarte of buckwheat with honey-crusted pine seeds, making them crunchy and chewy; and what's this - the chef at the next table, who knew us both and vice versa, sent over another tart, this of Sicilian lemon, cut in 4 quarters - it was almost as good as the first one, which I would come back her for on its own merits.  And most generous of you Chef, thanks,

Our bill with 2 bottles of wine, no bottled water and three coffees, was 156 E, thus 104 E a couple.

Go?  I cannot wait to come back in a couple of weeks.

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