Spring has long been one of my favorite Paris restaurants, dating back to the days when Daniel Rose was putting on a one-man show at the original location in the 9th. Rose was an early pioneer of both the no-choice menu and the open kitchen, two mainstays of contemporary dining in Paris today, and his cooking has always been generous and sincere. Even after operations moved to much larger and swankier digs near the Louvre, Spring felt like a special secret, something we were all lucky to get away with. The team expanded, and Rose took on (and then lost) an award-winning sommelier, but I always felt like I was getting much more than I paid for at Spring. My most recent visit – the eighth at this location – was the first time I felt a significant shift in this balance. Nothing was outrageously bad, but there was no discernible spark. My dining partner, who had never before been to Spring, found the portioning of four courses (for 85 euros) to be laughably small and couldn’t comprehend what all the fuss was about. Paired wines were inexpensive and unremarkable and not worth 70 euro charge. Restaurants, to be sure, go through many phases and I hope that Spring will once again return to our list of favorites. For now, though, it seems that Rose’s departure to focus on Le Coucou in New York has left his flagship Paris restaurant in a state of hibernation. UPDATE: A few weeks after this review was posted, Daniel Rose announced that he will be closing Spring.
Address: 6 rue Bailleul, 75001
Nearest transport: Louvre-Rivoli (1)
Hours: Closed Sunday & Monday; Open Tuesday-Saturday for dinner only
Reservations: Book several weeks in advance.
Telephone: 01 45 96 05 72
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Spring in photos
What people are saying
Le Fooding (2016) says “The set “dîner à la française” menu in four well-calibrated and technically complex courses, amuses the crowd for €84,” loving the roasted monkfish tail with green curry sauce but finding the desserts more more forgettable. “Let’s hope this lasts,” they say.
Le Monde (2015) François Simon, who has been following Rose’s career since the early days on the rue de la Tour d’Auvergne, says that his cooking shows real nerve, is playful and fun, is happy to be alive.
The New York Times (2011) “The multi-course menu — ours included seven — was an impressive journey through the early-winter market: poached sea bass served room temperature with a snappy vinaigrette, oysters and a cap of frizzled leeks; silky veal “candy” cooked sous-vide and sweetened with butter-poached heirloom beets; rich and crispy shredded veal breast confit, cut with orange.”
David Lebovitz (2010) “Finally came dessert, which started with bowls of raspberries, with the gentle dampness of berries that have been just-picked, floating in a light peach tea with unsweetened cocoa nibs bobbing in the broth, which provided not-too-sweet transition to dessert.”
Alexander Lobrano (2010) “Our lunch as privileged guineau pigs was sensational. Rose plans to build his lunch menu around bouillon with different garnishes… the best bouillon I’ve ever had in my life–deep, ruddy, potent and profoundly soothing, with grilled chicken and tiny vegetables. Desserts were superb, too…”
John Talbott (2010) “It was the most interesting and fascinating food experience I think I’ve ever had… The concept for lunch: a fixed price bouillon of the day with chicken, although pigeon could be substituted, and veggies; and a selection of something like 10 small plates, which depending on whether you were on the fly or sitting down to an extended repast, could be served family/Asian style or one by one, in portions that will probably serve two persons.”