When I first moved to Paris in 2005, I frequented Le Clown Bar, a cozy restaurant next door to Le Cirque d’Hiver. Loaded with charm, the interior from the turn of the century had tile inserts with clown motifs, along with an excellent two-course menu for about 25 euros. As I became more familiar with restaurants closer to my apartment, Le Clown Bar fell by the wayside.
Having practically forgotten about Le Clown Bar all these years, I read they reopened with new management, a new chef, and revamped menu. Curious and a little nostalgic, I went back a few weeks ago.
Walking in, my memory was flooded with notable meals and my naiveté about Paris when I first arrived. It hadn’t changed much and I still loved the ceramic tiles with the clowns and the handsome bar, which thankfully were left in tact. The rest of the restaurant had been modernized, adding an airier and lighter feel to than before, along with opening the cramped space a little more.
My friend and I snagged a nice table overlooking the front window. Perusing the appealing menu, hard pressed to single out some our choices, we both decided to go for the double duck, a starter of house made foie gras and a mysterious dish I never heard of before, duck in a pastry crust.
The presentation of the foie gras covered with round disks of razor thin raw mushrooms serve on a light teal blue ceramic plate, was like a work of modern day sculpture or Japanese origami. I am not that fond of raw mushrooms, but the thin slices worked for me. The foie gras was so good on its own, it didn’t need bread to accompany it.
The mystery plat also had a dramatic presentation, a ball of shiny pastry stuffed with meat, with a bundle of spinach leaves in the middle surrounded by a pool of gravy. My friend and I spent a few moments admiring our dish before we dug in. However there was no place setting and we asked the waitress for flatware and she instructed us to open the draw under the table, where we found our knives, forks, and spoons. The pastry was rich and flaky and the duck tender and juicy, and the gravy gave it even more moisture. Too stuffed, we were sorry we had to forego dessert, since our other dishes were so satisfying.
I am most happy at restaurants where the food is as good as it looks, and this was very much the case at Le Clown Bar.
Sven Chartier and Ewen Lemoigne from Saturne restaurant are the new owners along with Xavier Lacaud and the chef is Sota Atsumi, formerly from Vivant Table.
Le Clown Bar
114 rue Amelot, 75011
Metro: Filles du Calvaire
Open Wednesday to Sunday
Lunch 12PM to 2:30PM, dinner 7PM to 10:30PM
Tel. - +33 1 43 55 87 35
Christmas/Holiday Tour of Paris for 2014
Paris is magical during the holidays and I am happy to announce a special Christmas/Holiday Tour of Paris for 2014. Clients will experience the marvelous shop windows, gleaming outdoor lights, beautifully decorated trees, and festive Christmas markets. The tour includes a visit to Galeries Lafayette and Printemps department stores, the Champs Elysees Holiday market, the yummy gourmet shops Fauchon and Hediard on Place Madeleine overflowing with delicious holiday goodies, and the rue St. Honoré, with designer shops Hermes and Lanvin. To warm up, we stop for an authentic hot chocolate at one of the top Paris chocolate shops.
Tour times 10AM-1PM or 2PM-5PM
Cost: 225 euros for 1-3 people, 75 euros each additional person. Hot chocolate is not included in price.Click here to book the tour or for more information.
Tours will be conducted everyday from December 20, 2014 to January 5, 2015 except on Christmas and New Years Day.
New! Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes
I am happy to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes. Come take an ethnic culinary journey with me and chef and caterer Charlotte Puckette, co-author of the bestseller The Ethnic Paris Cookbook (with Olivia Kiang-Snaije). First we will shop at a Paris green-market for the freshest ingredients and then return to Charlotte's professional kitchen near the Eiffel Tower to cook a three-course lunch. After, we will indulge in the delicious feast we prepared along with hand-selected wines.
Cost: 185 euros per person (about $240)
Time: 9:30AM- 2PM (approximately 4 1/2 hours)
Location: We will meet by a metro station close to the market
Class days: Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday,Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Minimum of 2 students, maximum 6 students.
Click here to sign up for the next class or for more info.
I am pleased as punch to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Tours, which are 3-hour walking tours I will personally be leading. The Eye Prefer Paris Tour includes many of the places I have written about such as small museums & galleries, restaurants, cafes & food markets, secret addresses, fashion & home boutiques, parks, and much more.
Tours cost 210 euros for up to 3 people, and 70 euros for each additional person. I look forward to meeting you on my tours and it will be my pleasure and delight to show you my insiders Paris.
Check it out at www.eyepreferparistours.com
Click here to watch a video of our famous Marais tour