The Clown is always making a scene! Despite the departure of Sota Atsumi in 2019 (who left to open his own fine dining establishment called Maison), the classy bistro near the Cirque d’Hiver (a painted ceiling, a shiny zinc-topped bar, circus-themed ceramics) still puts on a fine show with tightrope-walker Luis Andrade, the former chef at Au Passage. He distinguished himself from his predecessor the other night with a very well executed number: an incredible braised lettuce heart over a bed of rice moistened by a chicken and Parmesan jus; a very elegant chanterelle, almond and apricot tart with a thin veil of lardo di Colonnata; an erudite calf’s brain electrified by ponzu sauce; tasty veal sweetbreads with black beans and fried artichoke, which deserved a standing ovation; before the less insane dessert, a chocolate crumble under a spoonful of cinnamon ice cream. FYI: at lunch, Clown Bar pulls a €36 prix-fixe menu out from its top hat: eg.: line-caught bass tartare with a sea bean cream; guinea fowl breast with artichokes and a caper sauce; fig tart with a tonka bean cream. But watch out! The prices climb quickly up the trapeze. // A.A.
FEELING THIRSTY? There’s a spectacular natural wine selection: a Cour-Cheverny white from Philippe Tessier (€8.50 a glass), Le Petit Feule, an Arbois-Pupillin from Philippe Bornard (€54 a bottle), a red Austrian blend from Zweigelt (€40), The Blanc, an Auvergne white from Patrick Bouju (€54)…
PRICE: Prix-fixe menu €36 (lunch), plates €9-33 (dinner).