Clamato | Seafood restaurant and bar | Septime | Grebaut | Paris | 11th | Natural wine Restaurants, Wine, Travel, Opinions

Clamato HeartHeartHeart
Restaurants and bars
Open: Lunch Sat-Sun, dinner Wed - Sun
Price: Moderate

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane
Phone Number: +33 1 43 72 74 53
Address: 80 Rue de Charonne
Paris, 75011
Country: France

Clamato is another no-reservations venue owned by Bertrand Grébaut and Théo Pourriat of Septime. This delightful bar concentrates on the very freshest seafood and interesting, low-cost natural wines. Our recent meal here was stunning.
When we arrived at about 9:30 the place was packed and buzzing! There is a long 8 metre bar just inside the door and then a handful of tables at the back of the room. Both areas afford comfortable seating and good views of the bar chefs at work. There were no tables available when we arrived so we put our names on the waiting list and wandered around the corner to the nearby favourite bar at Bones where we can always get interesting wines by the glass.
We returned, as requested, 45 minutes later and a table was ready for us as indicated by the friendly manager. The serving staff were very efficient and anxious to assist us with our choices of both food and wine. It wasn't very long before we were tucking into some deliciously-fresh, briny oysters (there were five different types available the night we were there) and sipping a Jura Chardonnay from Francois Rousset-Martin (La Chaux 2011). This wine was delightful, with oxidative notes even though it had been topped up in the barrel (ouillé is the term used in the Jura).
We followed the oysters with petoncles (small bay scallops) the size of a teaspoon, grilled with a vivid herb butter. The flavour packed by these small bivalves was truly amazing and only possible if they are seriously fresh!
We followed this with sashimi of swordfish with a distinctive and very interesting jelly of sea buckthorn berries which contrasted dramatically with the fish.
We then had some larger scallops with beurre noisette and the freshest of fresh walnuts. This was followed by mackerel served with cabbage and a choucroute of turnips which was a very satisfying, almost rustic, dish.
We also managed to squeeze in a bowl of soup. But not just any soup! This was described on the menu as Veloute de Palourdes and came to the table in a lovely bowl topped with a foam of lardo and a deeply rich, creamy broth with chunks of Manila clams. It was memorable.
The final dish was served in an enamelled-tin dish was skate wings with anchoiade, endive and other winter salad leaves.
We have already mentioned the Rousset-Martin wine that we sampled from the Jura. One of the features of this wine list is that there is a carefully-selected range of keenly priced natural wine from all parts of France and beyond. Some are well known (Ganevat fom the Jura, Belluard from the Savoie, Durieux from Burgundy, Mosse from Anjou). Some are less prominent such as Rkatisteli from Georgia, Petitprez from Auxey-Duresses and Renaud from the Rhone Valley
This was truly a great meal with the added bonus that no dish was over 14 Euros and most were under 10 Euros. The service was efficient and very friendly and the vibe in the room was what you expect when people are having a wonderful time.
You can buy a copy of the Septime Cookbook (in French) by clicking on the link below:
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