Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > France >
Oct 28, 2012 01:44 PM

Friends and enemies, there's yet another great find: Clandestino, an ephemeral resto in the 12th.

Clandestino in the 12th: is “the best revelation of our (6-week) stay," my old food finder said Friday.
It's at 8 Rue Crozatier in the 12th,, Closed Sundays and Mondays (Metro: Reuillly:Diderot) it was a place on my “list” that I chose solely because it was close to the Gare de Lyon, where I was taking a train to Geneva from, on a dreaded-culinarywise Saturday.
The menu is 2-2-2 but 22 E (on a Saturday, mind you) but has nice offerings.
All four of us had the bonito tuna with blackberries, sliced Japanese radishes, and a rich red spicy sauce that the two chefs, one Japanese, the other French, explained was chopped, pureed, cooked, etc with lime and piment but looked all the world like a pomegranate sauce. It was really, really good and I cannot imagine the Japanese pumpkin soup with an egg could have been better, but we’ll never know.
For mains two of us chose the lamb, which my pal, knowing my inability to tolerate mutton, warned me off of, but no need, it was succulent baby lamb with potatoes; and two of us had the salmon-colored trout, sautéed and skin-crisped with an intriguing sautéed pistachio bit topping and broccoli that was al dente but had been marinated in a secret concoction that made it/them irresistible.
Finally, most of us had chocolate mousse described as “light,” which it surely was as well as really being a mocha mousse. The odd man out had a baked apple with ice cream; boring eh, not at all.
Our bill, with great bread, no bottled water and two bottles of Central Valley (Calif, USA) Cycles Gladiator Syrah and 4 coffees was 152 E, thus 76 E a couple.
I rated it 7.2/10.
Photos are at the usual place.
Enjoy! if today's JDD femina rave doesn't bring down the NYT/F&W/T&L curse.
Go? I’d agree with my friend of 51 years; it was a hellova meal for a hellova price and definitely on Colette’s schedule next month.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Great report.
    It's been a hot table ever since it opened in the summer. Described as a resto-squat, all the trendy foodies (and moi) had been lining up in the hopes of getting a taste before it closed. But, thanks to its excellence and popularity, it seems "éphémère" means a little longer than fleeting in this case. I haven't tried it for lunch but the dinner is also a bargain... 44 € and more choice at my last meal (fyi, up from 33 € in July when I first tried it). I'm a big big BIG fan of Japanese sensibility/ precision + French cuisine (and une valeur sûre) and so adore this place.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Parnassien

      "But, thanks to its excellence and popularity, it seems "ephémère" means a little longer than fleeting in this case."
      Let's hope, they said a year, but without the support of the "big boys" and while I respect the JDD. yesterday, there were only 8 customers for what was great food. Ms. Sciolino or Mr. Lobrano, where are you now that we need you? How about a NYT's article on pop-up/"ephémère" places in Paris?

      1. re: John Talbott

        It's already got rave reviews in Figaro, L'Express, lefooding, etc so the local market knows about it. It's a difficult location for lunch so that may partly explain the lack of customers when you were there.

    2. Sound great. Either of you have a sense of how hard dinner reservations are to get?

      3 Replies
        1. re: djchaser

          I'm French so am loathe to book more than a day or two in advance. For my first visit, I rang two days before and was told "complet" but just on the off-chance and since I was in the neighbourhood showed up at 8 sharp when they opened and lucked out on a cancellation. For the second dinner, I rang the day before and got a rezzie. But both were mid-week meals.

          1. re: Parnassien

            "It's already got rave reviews in Figaro, L'Express, lefooding, etc."
            Indeed, as I reported in my Digest, but I don't sense a groundswell like that for Septime, Galopin or Pierre Sang Boyer.
            There's a phenom that is puzzling here and now; how do places get the buzz?
            My concern is when I see empty tables at great places like Clandestino, versus Marloe and Crom'Esquis, which are about as good and are chasing people away.
            Is it just the difference between the 8th and the 12th? Maybe.