Former Address: 6 rue Bailleul, 75001
are were saying
Meg Zimbeck (2017) on this site: “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 the 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.”
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.”
Daniel Rose to take on Chez la Vieille & New York
“Oh please” is my only response to the self-conscious approach to food and service. Aren’t we beyond this? The food was good. Food is usually good in good restaurants. But the preening “look at me I’m so serious” attitude of the chef and the obnoxious attitude of the staff makes this place just way, way too too.
Had dinner there with a business partner who also thinks he invented gastronomy, and between the snooty server who had to explain everything to us since we seemed like rubes to the comments of our host, it was the most tiring, boring dinner I’ve had in a long time. We too had to start out by waiting in the street like supplicants – we should have just moved on.
The first time we ate there the food was delicious, so we returned for our 40th anniversary. Reservations were made mos. in advance and every restaurant was informed that it was our anniversary week. Spring put us in the basement directly facing the restroom. The sliding door to the restroom was continually left open by diners. It was the most disappointing dinners of our lives and a sad ending to an otherwise beautiful week. We complained from the time we sat down to no avail. Maitre D was very snobby. I would never go back or recommend.
We visited in spring of 2012, and were singularly unimpressed–I know Paris restaurants are small, but this was ridiculous. Food was so-so, sommelier was snooty, and I don’t understand what all the fuss is about. Writing about it two years later, I can’t remember specifics, but not thrilled.
One another thread, http://parisbymouth.com/forum/#/20120427/what-am-i-missing-1523508/ Shelley expressed concern about voicing food issues at Spring. I had a talk with its chef Daniel Rose and he assured me that he will now provide a gluten-free meal and since he makes everything from scratch, no ingredient will be served that will trigger any allergic response. Even though I’ve been numerous times, the reservations people always ask if I have any allergies, etc.
We celebrated Renée’s birthday at Spring. We’ll write a blog about it, but to sum up: Danial is a genius in the selection of the food, seasoning that supports the taste of of the food and cooking it exactly to the right temperature. His pairing of wines to his food is a perfect match. He has subsumed his ego to the food – an American in Paris.
The fact that we have no photos from our night at Spring is a testament to what a wonderful night it was: We didn’t want to break the spell by self-consciously recording the experience. It wasn’t that the dishes were daring, the plating dramatic, or the atmosphere dazzling – just the opposite. It was exciting by not being exciting. “Quality” is probably the word that best describes the food, wine, service, and setting – and the simplicity of that word is what made Spring unique among the restaurants we tried in Paris.
The amuse offered four perfect bites that served as an overture for the entire meal, including an oyster that we’ve been reminiscing about ever since. The next course, chicken noodle soup with noodles made of chicken, not pasta, was especially welcome because my wife had caught a cold that night. How did they know that she needed chicken soup? It created a feeling of homey comfort that continued throughout the evening. The atmosphere at Spring, which is tucked away in a nondescript side street north of the Rue de Rivoli, is that of a sophisticated apartment, with exposed brick, an open kitchen, and comfortable chairs alongside sleek lines and modern, almost minimalist design.
We were reminded of home for a different reason when the fish course arrived. It was fried, with a crispy batter outside and a tender, flaky white fish inside. Fried fish is not a dish we associate with Paris, but with the U.S. Midwest where we live. (We learned later that Chef Rose and my wife grew up within blocks of each other in the same Chicago suburb and even attended the same grade school and high school.) In contrast with the other restaurants we’d tried in Paris, which were wonderful in their own right, the simplicity and quality of the preparation were a pleasant surprise.
A perfectly cooked lamb dish, followed by a generous and delicious cheese course and several desserts, rounded out the evening. If there was a single imperfection, it might have been one of the desserts, a coiled chocolate nougat or marshmallow that the chef himself served by snipping off pieces onto our plates. For me, the plating was more enjoyable than the eating. But chatting with Chef Rose – and discovering that he and my wife shared a hometown and home neighborhood – more than made up for it.
The staff were equally engaging – friendly without being informal, formal without begin stuffy. Our server made us feel as if we were the most important people in the restaurant, and her wine pairing recommendations were spot-on. By the time we left, waving good-night to the chef and his team behind the kitchen counter, we felt as if we were leaving a sophisticated dinner party thrown by new friends whom we hoped to see again soon.
It’s said that if you’re going to serve simple food, the quality must be perfect (and perhaps a corollary is that complicated, cutting-edge cooking can cover up lesser quality underneath). My guess is that achieving such simple quality at Spring is not simple at all. However they achieved it, Spring gave us the best dining experience, pound for pound (or euro for dollar), that we had in Paris.
It sounds to me like they did not technically *have* you waiting in the street, from what I’m reading. You could have come in at 7 PM, only you didn’t ring the bell. When you enter a restaurant, you push the door open and this is not different, except that it is a sliding glass door and you have to ring the bell to get in, whatever the hour.
Now this was your first time and you did not know about that, but I rather see it as a proper 7 PM sitting with a big malentendu, but I do not know the service at Spring to be rude at all.
@Magdalene : this kind of a start is always frustrating, too bad it negatively impacted your view on all the experience and food!
7pm was the only reservation they had. Just to note too that they called twice on the day of our dinner to confirm the time and also pointed out we only had the table until 9.30pm. Thus our effort to get there at 7pm. I still maintian if you offer a 7pm sitting you should not have your guests waiting in the street for you and then be rude about it. The food was great but the expereince and service were not.
A petit question, did they say they’d serve at 7?
Most restos don’t gear up for dinner until 8 or 8:30, which is one reason I have “dinner” at noon.
We went to spring this evening. Had been greatly looking forward and of course booked in advance for a 7pm table. We went to considerable effort to cross Paris to get there on time yet when we arrived at 7 the place was not open. We and other guests waited outside in the cold for about 10 minutes. The place has big glass windows so the staff blatantly ignored us. When we were let in and I asked about this I was told kurtly we should have rung the bell. Just seemed super rude and zero care factor. I reckon if you have guests at 7 you should be open and ready for them to arrive. No apology was offered in fact I felt stupid for taking it up with them. Food was good but overall experience not great…
Had a spectacular dinner there this summer, though I am greatly saddened because:
1. I missed the saturday lobster rolls, even though I tried 3 times to partake
2. I don’t think I’ll ever be lucky enough to get a reservation again
Arrived in Paris and were fortunate enough to have our first meal at Spring. Currently, their telephone is not yet connected so reservations can be made in person or by calling the Boutique.
Lunch was delicious. Lived up to all the buzz we read about. Chef Rose lovingly arranged each component of his dishes in the open kitchen and presented our plates to our table. We enjoyed the chicken bouillon, perfectly cooked pieces of flavorful chicken floating atop a deep, rich bouillon with carrots, onions and other vegetables. We ordered two small plates. The first was an eggplant dish with salted fish and thinly sliced marinated radishes. The second dish was shrimp with fennel. It was so delicious I didn’t want to share it! We ended with two desserts including an apricot clafouti and fresh raspberries in a delicate broth of lemon verbena and almonds. Wines were delicious and perfectly paired by our charming waiter. Overall, a great food experience in a wonderful restaurant.
Our suggestion to call the Boutique came directly from Josh Adler, who answers the phone at the Boutique. If the strategy changes, we’ll be sure to amend the post.
I believe that Daniel requests that one NOT call the Epicerie for reservations since it is not equiped to handle that volume of calls. Rather, follow your good suggestion to drop by the restaurant or go through the website.