Small Things Savory - Shrimp Cocktail by Derrick VanDuzer

Spring Reawakens

by Everett Hutt
July 28, 2010

6 rue de Bailleul
75001 Paris
Metro: Louvre-Rivoli
(no phone number yet as it is not officially open for reservations)

Reopened Spring (Paris) langoustineEverett Hutt

The opening of Daniel Rose’s restaurant, Spring, in October 2006, created a shock wave in Paris. Critics raved, patrons swooned over the food (yours truly included), and reservations became coveted, hence Figaroscope named Spring — with its six-month waiting list — Paris’s “most difficult” restaurant to get into. More importantly, Rose created a new trend that many new Parisian restaurants imitated (but never outdid): serving a fixed menu only. No multiple seatings and no options, but lots of fresh ingredients combined in an inspired modern French style.

And then it all stopped. Rose closed Spring a year ago to open a newer and larger restaurant. Opening the new place took much longer than anticipated, due to French administrative delays. Along the way he briefly opened Table 28, a rotisserie (delicious, but sold after a few months) and Spring Boutique, a gourmet shop (which is still open and has a great selection of wines among other products).

The wait to try his new restaurant is nearly over. I was lucky enough to be invited to the restaurant on July 14 during its “soft-opening” period. In just a few weeks the restaurant will be officially open to the public.

The most notable difference about the new Spring is its size. While there are still only 22 places for dinner (only a slight increase from the original 16), the restaurant space is much bigger. And the kitchen — totally open to view by the diners — is the star of the place. It is a joy to see Rose and his team swirl around in a gourmet ballet.

The basic principle of a four-course, no-choice menu is the same, but there are now more variations available (such as some additional small dishes at extra cost). Later on, there will also be a downstairs tapas-style bar. And while just Rose, one kitchen assistant, and one waiter used to comprise the staff, he has added a full kitchen and waitstaff. All these changes are accounted for in a slightly pricier menu (€64 or ~$83 per person), but they are well worth it.

The highlight of the meal for me was the second starter — smoked tuna served atop poached veal with an anchovy marinade-stuffed artichoke heart on the side. The combination of all those flavors was simply stunning, fresh, and original. Other highlights included the nibbles of simple melon and Iberico Spanish ham infused with ginger, which we enjoyed while waiting for our meal to arrive. During his year off, Rose’s talent for concocting sublime innovative dishes has only increased.

It is great to see Spring return with such vim and vigor.

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