Forgive me if my account of our meal at Spring is on the short side. After all, it has been 3 action-packed weeks since our dinner, and I, if anything, had imbibed a little too much wine that evening, rendering the memories and even pictures fuzzy! All I remember is some solidly cooked, very tasty food and a jolly good time.
P arranged a dinner at Spring as a precursor to his homemade meal, a back-up of sorts in case I was disappointed with his (or Picard’s) culinary creations. A wildly popular restaurant especially after being featured on NY Times, this was a tough table to score. We ensured our places by making a reservation exactly 30 days in advance, though once we got to there and were warmly and eagerly served by the entire crew from host to Chef Rose, we lost any misgivings we had about the place and enjoyed our 5 course meal (74 euros), paired with generous pours of 5 matching wines.
In lieu of a single appetizer, the kitchen first sent out a series of small bites our server termed aperos, i.e. cocktail bites. I remember vividly a concentrated, umami-packed shot of super chickeny broth and the creamy unctuousness of foie gras on mini buckwheat galettes. The butter and bread, as befitting a quality establishment as Spring, is so wickedly good we had to resist asking for seconds.
We were next served 2 fat scallops, lightly seared and still quiveringly soft inside. I remember the sauce was definitely laced with butter to give it a luxurious, velvety mouthful.
While the fish (john dory?) looked bland and uninteresting with its white palette, the shellfish foam definitely packed a very flavorful punch. And although the fish was not extremely interesting, we loved the plump cockles, with nary a tinge of fishiness, bursting with sweet juices.
Pigeon was the meat of the day, juicy and just a touch bloody. The meat’s natural gamey taste was somewhat disguised by the bitter radishes, the slightly acidic jus and the tart apple matchsticks.
The fall theme continued with desserts, a poached pear perched on top of a molten chocolate pool. The seemingly simple dessert however had been gussied up by an injection of yogurt and a dusting of slightly spiced graham crackers, reminding us it is the season of spiced wines and Thanksgiving. To make sure we had our fill, mignardises were then served: bite-sized nuggets of walnut cake topped with cream cheese, a thimble of amazing coffee granita.
Finally, we were led downstairs to admire the cave that had been excavated during renovations. According to our server, this used to be part of an intricate network of tunnels leading into the Lourve! Fascinating history with beautiful bottles to ogle at. To me, that was a befitting end to a celebratory meal.
6 Rue Bailleul, 75001 Paris