Sherman's Food Adventures: Clamato


Having already scored reservations for Septime on our last full day in Paris, we decided to check out their sister restaurant, Clamato, situated right next door on our first day in Paris.  Focused on fresh sustainable seafood, Clamato's menu reflects the daily deliveries from French fishing ports.  Unlike Septime, Clamato does not take reservations.  We arrived at around 6:45pm for their 7:00pm opening time and was easily seated (as well as most of the other people in line).  If you are any later, then you will need to leave your name on the waitlist and they will call you.

Since they feature only fresh ingredients, the menu that we were presented with was very different than the one found online.  We decided to start with the Cod Roe Tarama with EVOO.  This was deliciously smooth and creamy with the brininess of the cod roe coming through.  There was a background smokiness and the seasoning was on point with it being salty enough.  Loved the pool of EVOO in the middle as it provided aromatics and naturally the silky smoothness of olive oil.

Another seemingly simple dish was the Sardines with roasted lemon and smoked creme crue as well as a good smattering of EVOO.  Those sardines were texturally appealing with a tender meatiness.  They were tangy and briny while completely and perfectly accented by the tart lemon and the smokiness of the creamy crue.  This went especially well with the warm baguette served when we were first seated.

One of my favourite items was the Palourde Clams with green curry sauce and fig leaf oil.  Those buttery clams were delicate and so naturally sweet.  Loved the cook on them as they were perfect with a soft texture with a slight chew.  The showstopper was the sauce as it was bright and mildly rich at the same time.  It was cilantro-forward and tasted really green, but the coconut milk tempered that.  I had to soak up the sauce with the bread because it was so good.

One of the brightest dishes was the Pollock Ceviche with fermented peach and chipotle.  I literally spooned the ceviche liquid and ate it just like that.  A nice balance of acidity, sweetness and spice with the emphasis on mild tanginess.  Therefore, it wasn't strong enough to overwhelm the delicate pieces of pollack.  About that pollack, the slices were tender with a bit of firmness. 

Another favourite of mine was the Mediterranean Octopus with shaved fennel and roasted garlic sauce.  The fairly thick slices of octopus were beautifully textured with a very tender chewiness.  Loved that it was easy to eat but had a certain firmness still.  It was adequately seasoned with a balanced salty sweetness but the garlic sauce was delicious.  It was creamy and rich with all of the best things about roasted garlic.

One of the more interesting dishes was the Albacore Tuna with spruce tips and pickled blueberries.  Apart from the fact they were paring fish with blueberries, the dish worked in my opinion.  There was an earthy foresty thing going on with the spruce tips while the fish itself was already tangy from the marinade.  The blueberries were intensely sweet and acidic which made it pair much better than just plain blueberries.

Viv's favourite dish was the Heirloom Tomato Salad with trout eggs and basil oil.  Another seemingly simple offering but with superior ingredients, this was full-flavoured and super fresh tasting.  The tomatoes were bright and sweet while the tomato water only helped highlight the main ingredient even more so.  The basil oil added herbaceousness while the crunch of the croutons provided complimentary texture.  Let's not forget about the briny trout eggs too.

One dish that was only liked by me was the Bell Pepper & Smoked Haddock Carpaccio w ith langoustine-kimchi jus.  I thought this was genius as the rich cooked-down jus was aromatic and briny with a background tangy spice.  The haddock was lightly smoky and had just a bit of saltiness. Texturally, the slices of fish were a touch firm but still buttery.  Those roasted red peppers were sweet and deliciously tender.

Another dish that no one else seemed to like, but only for me, was the Fried Eggplant with kalamsio, kasuobushi and hazelnuts.  I thought the eggplant was perfectly textured with a slightly crispy and firm exterior giving way to creamy tender insides.  It was nicely flavoured with a fermented saltiness as well as some tanginess.  The crunch of the hazelnuts were definitely needed here.

Lastly, we had the Monkfish from Finistere with grilled zucchini and spiced mussel butter.  Loved the flavours here as the mussel butter was rich and briny with natural sweetness.  The intensity of the sauce was further amped by the background spiciness.  The fish was perfectly cooked being a touch rare in the middle.  The mussels were plump and buttery.  As you can see, Clamato dishes up some creative fresh, mainly raw, seafood dishes that incorporate different accompaniments and flavours.  I found them unique and most of them worked well in creating a delicious composed product.  A worthy sister restaurant to Septime.

The Good:

- Fresh seafood
- Impactful and unique flavours
- Approachable and casual

The Bad:
- Pretty popular and they do not take resos
- Menu is pretty focused and it worked for us, but it may not work for everyone's tastes


Search this Site