More Paris: Clamato


Everybody loves Septime, the small restaurant in the 11th, which is just about the hardest reservation in Paris.  I couldn't get in, so I was thrilled to find that their little "fisherie" next door doesn't take reservations.  We got to Clamato at noon on Sunday, eager to be first in line. (We weren't.)

It's a terrific little place, very simple, with a delicious version of Clamato (basically a Bloody Mary with clam juice), homemade Tabasco sauce, and the best looking waiters you've ever seen.  Loved everything we ate, but this flat bread at the top, slightly sweet, topped with fresh white cheese and trout roe was my favorite.

We had oysters, of course:


and a wonderful ceviche:


and this irresistible merlan, impeccably fried and extremely meaty, with it's backbone removed:


 and lovely scallops:


 Lovely vegetables too, including this eggplant, in dashi, with little frisks of dried bonito waving from the top, like underwater sea anemones. 


The room is cheerfully casual, the soundtrack terrific, and the clientele makes you feel like you've wandered into the most happening place in Paris.  Children wander in and out, babies coo, and everyone looks happy. But the food itself has an admirable precision; everything feels beautifully sourced and extremely well thought out.

The menu changes daily, so there's no excuse not to come again. 

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Always looking good restaurants in Paris. Your description at the end made me put it at the top of my list. Though I might go for those waiters alone.
Lynn at Southern Fried French

Fantastic :) My favorite dish at Clamato was mid-summer: a white fish called "chinchard" served raw with beets and cherries. The cherries were fresh, and the beets were both white and red. In the low light it was hard to tell if you were picking up beets, cherries, or fish, and the whole thing was totally delightul.

Enjoy my fair city!

Are you going to Provonce next? Good luck in your travels.

Sounds wonderful. Clamato, however is not a drink like a Bloody Mary, it is one component of the drink. Clamato is a blend of tomato and clam juice. It is used in a Bloody-Mary-like drink known as a Ceasar or Bloody Caesar in Canada. Like a Bloody Mary you add vodka and lime juice and desired spices. The drink was invented by a Calgary bartender in a competition and has since had a big following in Canada. Cross the border into the USA, however and most bartenders have never heard of it and will say "You put whaaaat in a Bloody Mary? Clam juice?"

Now if that's what they call the drink with vodka in it at Clamato, I can't help that. It is, however, misleading. (And I wonder if it is not a trademarked name for the juice.)

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