Spring, Paris, France

Spring 6, rue Bailleul, Paris 1, 01-45-96-05-72

Chanterelles with Diced Apricots from Spring

If you asked me where I had the best meal of the summer, the answer would be easy. It was in Paris last month at Spring, a fairly new restaurant whose chef and owner is Daniel Rose, an American from Chicago. For months, I had tried to get into this restaurant where inventive food is served as a multi-course meal both at lunch and dinner. Then my friend and respected food critic, John Talbott, invited me to join him and and his wife for déjeuner there.

From the moment I stepped through the door into the modern interior where an open kitchen was abuzz with young chefs, I knew I was in for a treat. Our lunch began with a quartet of exquisite appetizers– perfectly cooked morsels of squid served with salty shavings of ham, radishes topped with golden trout caviar, miniature pastries filled with chard and grapes, plus pickled eggplant.

Next came sautéed rouget, a mild white fish, served with a lime, honey, olive oil emulsion. Then there was beautifully cooked squab garnished with fresh cucumbers and a side of golden chanterelle mushrooms scented with bits of dried apricots. Dessert was a cornucopia of tastes and textures. There were fresh roasted apricots seasoned with thyme paired with a luscious goat cheese sorbet. Bowls of marinated cherries garnished with dark chocolate curls, a heavenly lemon curd, and rum granita set atop a coffee mousse-like mixture were also included.

My tab for lunch with some nice wine ran around 66 euros–a splurge and worth it! Count on evening meals to be more. Reserve well in advance at Spring, which is in the first arrondissement, near the Louvre.

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