The Clown Bar
Sven Chartier and Ewen Lemoigne’s success at Saturne is duly noted – but who knew their purchase of a tabacco-stained bistro/former communal dining room for the clowns of the adjacent circus – would become one of the most delicious places to eat in Paris, filled to the rim with food & wine family? The tobacco stains are gone, revealing original hand painted glass circus/clown motifs and the original zinc bar where Toulouse-Lautrec used to take his drink.
The dynamic duo Xavier Lacaud (Mgr/Sommelier known affectionally as Monsieur X) and Chef Sota Atsumi (Vivant Table alum) are a dream team.
Sota is in the kitchen wowing with modern a la carte plates: raw bonito/horseradish/tosazu, langoustine beignets/acacia, shaved truffle mushrooms, veal tartare, crazy good riz de veau and that duck foie gras/duck breast brioche? Just wow. The delicate panko fried bulot snails and spicy mayo are a must to start.
Xavier maneuvers deftly between terrace and dining room packed with curious visitors and food industry folk – offering skillful advice on the all natural wine list with standout small producers: Adzidakis (Greece), Schueller (Alsace), Courtois (Loire), Cossard (Burgundy), Alain Allier (Rhone), Thierry Renard (Auvergne), Cornelissen (Sicily), Jean-Marc Brignot (Jura), and my new favorite – Anne Marie & Pierre Lavaysse’s Le Petit Gimios (a blend of 14 varietals – Languedoc). There are even magnums to please party animals and groups of friends (54-116€).
So many boxes get checked: Good wine list, open early, open late, a sunny terrace, delicious food, convivial ambiance, etc.
Can’t get a reservation? It must be Sunday night when it is reserved until 2020 for the food & wine folks who have this on the “route” every single Sunday when most other places are closed.