Restaurant Clutch (Paris)

© Clutch

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It’s not easy satisfying the demanding crowds from Paris’s 11th arrondissement, where high-end bistros are practically a part of daily life… But fear not, Pierre Rieder (ex-Pierre Sang) and Maxime Merienne (the owner of Sophomore bar in Oberkampft) proudly showcase their cuisine at this colorful spot (a pine green facade, orange-hued waxed concrete floors, terra-cotta-colored walls). And on this July day, we lunched on all of the following: mackerel gravlax with pickled beets for added zing, plus cider jelly and a clever condiment combining beets, eggplant peel and paprika, all sabotaged by a rather bland eggplant and ricotta roll; a funky tomato salad with tomato water, roasted feta, toasted bread, marinated watermelon and flavored oils (basil and chili); before some incredibly silky turbot roasted in brown butter and served with plenty of fried onions, plus eggplant caviar, grilled zucchini and ajo blanco… And to end the meal with some chic summertime vibes: apricot sorbet, Greek yogurt with honey and toasted pumpkin seeds, all served with a roasted apricot and pickled beet ribbons. // Eric Taylor 

FEELING THIRSTY? : A short menu that brings together a selection of vinous gems that represent the taste of the times: a Cahors from Fabien Jouves (€6.50 a glass), a Savoie altesse from the Domaine de Lucey (€29 a bottle), a Touraine pet’ nat’ from Les Pierres Écrites (€37)… And to go with all that, craft beers (IPA from La Brasserie Fondamentale at €7 for 330 ml) and even a few cocktails (including a Peach Mule made with gin, ginger beer and peach purée for €13). 
PRICE: : Set menus €20-23 (lunch) and €44 (dinner), à la carte €44-52 (lunch and dinner). 

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