A little background: Opened summer 2014 in the former canteen of the 19th century Cirque d’Hiver, Clown Bar’s Belle Époque décor isn’t as lavish as you might expect. The vibe is more clean and cool and hipster, like many other contemporary ‘néobistrots’, with extra clown around the edges. There’s a prestige team behind the scenes – chef Atsumi Sota was formerly at Vivant, and owners Sves Chartier and Ewen Lemoigne have a bunch of other greats including Saturne.
My visit: As I was doing my research on Paris eats, multiple foodbloggers recommended Clown Bar and apparently many top notch chefs also come here to queue up for a table on their night off. If other Paris chefs eat here too, it must be good! I was lucky to score a reservation here on a Sunday night as many other places are closed.
I was feeling adventurous so I decided to go for the veal brains. It was my first time trying veal brains and boy was it tasty! It had a texture of a firm tofu with an almost custard-like creaminess with a rich umami flavor. The brain was bathing in a pool of ponzu sauce which helped cut through the richness. I could not imagine a better way to be introduced to this delicate organ!
Next came the beef tartare with burrata, and anchovies. It was a great play on a classic dish. The meat was fresh and flavorful with an incredible texture thanks to the potato chips garnished on top.
The langoustines was served with bone marrow, apples and peppers. The combination of ingredients were to die for but sadly the langoustines were over-cooked and mushy. If it was executed better, it could have easily been one of the most incredible version of surf and turf my mouth I have ever tasted.
Lastly, the wild rabbit pithivier. The succulent rabbit meat was wrapped in a buttery pastery shell accompanied with cheese, garlic and parsley. It was insanely good! The light sauce really brought the dish together. It was definitely worth the 20 minutes wait!
I was the only one who opted for the dessert. I ordered the piece de resistance as I have seen too many photos of this clown dessert on instagram. I cracked open the golden orb of the clown’s nose and it revealed a classic milk pudding with clementine juice and caramelized almonds. The creaminess, the tartness and the crunchiness, all in one bite!
Verdict: Clown Bar lived up to its reputation! The food was creative and true to its taste. The service was speedy, smiley and most importantly bilingual. I would encourage anyone travelling to Paris (or living in Paris) to make a visit here!
Happy eating! 🙂
114, rue Amelot
01 43 55 87 35