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Once the watering hole of choice for circus clowns from the neighboring Cirque d’Hiver, this spot has since re-invented itself as one of the most popular restaurants in Paris.
It’s small, and often packed, but so good.
Hidden away from the busy Boulevard des Filles-du-Calvaire on the Rue Amelot, Clown Bar was full of clowns back in the Belle Epoque.
After a performance at the circus just a few steps away, they made their way here to enjoy a drink and to feel at home among the beautiful tiling and ceiling rosette depicting clowns in all shapes and sizes.
Today, the clown theme and name remain, but the clientele has certainly changed. Now full of hip Parisians in the know, this restaurant is a true gem.
Featuring clever takes on French cuisine, the menu — as all good menus should be — is short and seasonal, with more entrées than main dishes.
Each appetizer looks like a small piece of edible art. Options include a charcuterie platter, burrata, seafood, and steak tartare. While this may sound like a fairly pedestrian selection, the chef always adds a twist to make these French staples interesting and new.
Come with friends, order a number of entrées, and share your small plates over a glass or two of natural wine.
For the main course, there are usually three plats to pick from. Ranging from fish to much more interesting meat choices such as veal brain or pigeon, there’s no run-of-the-mill steak haché here. A few select desserts and cheeses round off the meal, leaving you satisfied, but not overly full.
A lovely little restaurant with unusual décor, an intriguing history, and good French food, this place is a must. A lot of Parisians think so too, so best book ahead to be sure to get a table! Reservations can be made online up to three months in advance via La Fourchette – click here to reserve.
Open Wednesday – Sunday with service from 12pm – 2:30pm and 7pm- 10:30pm. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.