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Sea and Be Seen

July 27, 2014

Like the salty clam and tomato juice concoction for which it’s named, trendy oyster and seafood bar Clamato is an unusual mix of contrasting elements that somehow work perfectly together. Its raw and minimal décor is juxtaposed with a daily-changing menu of fresh and wholesome, yet refined seafood dishes, executed with the finesse one would expect from chef Bertrand Grébaut, the man who brought us acclaimed (and adjoining) sister restaurant Septime.

Sitting pretty behind a bottle green and glass façade on hip rue de Charonne, the charmant but diminutive diner combines blond wood counter seating with a smattering of just seven teal tables, all set with mason jars holding requisite fish forks and crab-claw crackers. Perch on one of the mismatched seats and peruse the day’s options that have previously included crunchy-sweet crab cakes served with spicy wankaina sauce; fresh scallops cooked in rich herb butter; oyster and veal tartare topped with tarragon leaves and shoestring fries; and maple syrup tart with chantilly cream to finish. Somewhat deceptively, there’s not clamato-based libation in sight, but a standout oyster Bloody Mary and a solid selection of organic and biodynamic European wines make for excellent accompaniment. Sea and be seen!

80 rue de Charonne, 11th / +33 1 43 72 74 53 / 7-11pm Wed-Fri, noon-11pm Sat-Sun / no reservations taken