Clown Bar is a small place located where the circus people used to hang out – thus the elaborate tile work in the front room of circus clowns and the large clown overhead. The back room does not have this decoration but it does have a large table suitable for a party. The bare wood tables are set with paper napkins and the flatware is located in a drawer under the table. Our server, Pierre, was very nice and helpful in making our selections. Most plates are suitable for sharing and he even offered to split the dish in the kitchen when possible, which allowed us to sample a few too many items. It is relatively simple food, combining good ingredients. The ambiance of the place felt very date friendly and most guests seemed more interested in the other people than the food. They played a mix of American tunes while I heard mostly French being spoken by the guests.
We started with some cured Cecina beef which was slightly smoky, very tender and tasty. A winner especially when eaten with the tasty bread.
The fried snails were firm with a nice chew. It was a good fried food, not greasy and served with a tasty dipping sauce.
The raw scallops were not at all pasty or slimy like so many raw scallops. They did have a nice sweet taste with a good meld of flavors in the dish.
The squid body meat was firm while the tentacles were crisped. The black pudding was excellent and full of flavor and texture. The egg yolk dotted the dish to give it extra richness.
The red mullet on foie gras was served with a variety of mushrooms and was a nice dish. The fish was fairly mild but it came alive when mixed with the foie gras and mushrooms, but then what wouldn’t?
The pigeon was larger than squab-size and cooked perfectly rare. It was presented on smoky sage leaves and I’m not sure why but it was a fun affect. The greens (chickweed?) were very good and tender.
The duck with foie gras was baked in a crust and served with a date puree, all surrounded by chicken juice. It was a wonderful pastry, crisp and tender. The duck was perfect and rare which mixed with the foie gras to delicious effect. There was a line of duck ragout along the bottom of the dish. It was served with a salad. Yum here!
We finished with a lemon tart which again had a wonderfully crisp crust but a tad thick for easy cutting. The filling was quite tart and needed the sweet creamy topping to mellow it. It looked better than it was.