Balagan and Clown Bar
One of the founders I had the pleasure of backing has returned home to Paris. We got together for lunch at Balagan. I wondered out loud if Balagan was somehow related to Palomar in London. In fact it is. There is definitely an explosion of Israeli restaurants across the globe starting with Machne-Yahuda in Jerusalem. It has been a diaspora across New York City, London and Paris.
We had a smorgasbourg of plates to share. You honestly can’t go wrong with anything there. The tahini, bread and eggplant dish is a mainstay for the table. This salmon was one of my favorite dishes.
And then of course we walked heading directly to my favorite store. I love a store where I know I can walk in and then walk out with a few purchases every time.
Dinner was at the Clown Bar. This place has been on all of the lists and we finally made our way there. There are clowns on the ceiling and the bar. I would gather the clowns were here way before the restaurant. Natural wines at this spot too with an extremely creative modern menu. Not for the faint of heart as Veal Brain with Ponzu sauce is one of the dishes. We started with sardines (boquerones) marinated in a sweet savory olive oil and then covered with sauteed algae. This was incredible. Not exactly sure what was in the olive oil but the flavor seeped through the entire dish. The bread on the side was key for sopping up every single drop.
Not to get too crazy we went with the burrata, beet roots, apricot and basil. The basil was probably just picked. The entire dish just screamed “summer”. I am absolutely making this one at home in the months to come.
We had a raw fish dish that didn’t rock my boat but the Duck and Fois Gras Pie with dates and lemon is a must. Decadent is an understatement. Pieces of duck sitting next to creamy foie gras baked in a flaky crust with a whipped date and lemon mixture, almost like sorbet on the side. It is so over the top. Certainly not something I can eat often but what a serious treat.
We went with the cheese and salad for dessert before walking home. We constantly check how many steps we walk here. Our book would be called Paris in 10,000 steps. Last night we almost walked 8000 steps home and thank god. My feet were pounding but at least I worked a bit of that dinner off! Wow.
Natural wines are a staple of our world.Paris, like NY, like a few others, are a Mecca for them.They were made by artisans (by definition) for the joyousness of discovering people and food.Everyone can find one for them as the category is as broad as wellness, though with more distinction to where it starts and stops. And just as much good and bad in between.Enjoy!
Of the many natural wine bars we’ve been to, Clown Bar figures at the top in terms of food quality for a place that’s labelled as a “bar”. We noticed it was frequented by several english-speaking patrons.
Check out Safta next time you are in Denver! https://www.eatwithsafta.com/
Go to Le Petit Vatel(https://eater.space/le-peti…, great little place where we got our Vin D’Orange recipe. Smuggle me back some cheeses from Marie Cantin. If you can swing it, they have awesome wine dinners at this place (https://bistrotdusommelier…. Just depends on if you are there when he does them or not. Went and it was a super amount of fun.