Clown Bar

I had to pause after I took my last bite of veal brain to process what I had just devoured. A little ironic, you might say, that I was literally at a loss for words after ingesting a brain.

I’ve never had that happen to me before, where I truly had to stop and reflect on the incredible nature of what I had just enjoyed. Each bite built upon the next; the silky texture of the veal brains (which I was told is less meaty and flavorful than lamb brains), the seductive dashi broth that made me wonder how something this pure can exist, and the raw ginger and scallion so finely diced on top, adding an element of spice and crunch.

Simply put, It was perfection.

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Veal Brain in a dashi broth

It’s crazy to me that something is capable of tasting this good. And at 13€, also be wildly affordable.

My meal at Clown Bar exceeded all expectations, and I’m glad I called 16x during my work day to avoid a busy signal to book a 9:45pm seating, the only one available one month out.

It was here that I enjoyed my first (and second and third) natural wine. The bartender, Vincent, sweet, charming, and charismatic, guided me through the tastings, pairing each of my dishes with a different variety of the cloudy glass of delight. Could I tell you what wines I drank? No. But did I enjoy it? Absolutely.

My first course, the aforementioned veal brain, was paired with a white wine, which brought out all of the depth of flavor in that outstanding dish.

The main course — a duck and foie gras pie, which tasted as decadent as it sounds, was accompanied by a light colored red wine, something I usually avoid (no pinot noir for this girl) but despite it’s coloring, I found myself surprised at the deep, bold flavoring. Another unexpected delight. The pie was served with what initially looked like a sad bowl of lettuce, only to bite in to find a light dressing coating each leaf. I’m having trouble describing exactly what it tasted like, but I finished the entire bowl, while a sad little piece of duck remained on my plate because the pie was so rich. This is the moment when, perhaps, it would’ve been nice to have a friend to dine with to split the rich dish.

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Duck and Foie Gras Pie

For dessert, bubbles were paired with a dessert that makes absolutely zero sense in concept — a cream-cheese like yogurt, poached pears, sorel leaves and cardamom ice cream? but was actually divine. I could’ve swam in the thick bowl of yogurt and lived out my happiest life.

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Poached Pears and ‘Cream Cheese’

This was truly one of the most fantastic, unique dining experiences I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying. This meal truly exceeds the hype. Be sure to make a reservation in advance, and trust the bartender for wine recommendations for a mind-blowing (I had to include some kind of a brain pun) experience.

Clown Bar • 114 Rue Amelot, 75011 Paris

*note: Clown Bar is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

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