Coming to Paris was pure indulgence on my part. Most people think of these kinds of things months, or even years in advance. My adventure was thought out and only confirmed weeks in advance. It didn’t give me a lot of time to research the food scene, but it did give me enough time to realize that I didn’t want my trip to be about spending a lot of time in hoity toity stuffy restaurants where I’d be so concerned about committing a Parisian faux pas that I wouldn’t enjoy my dining experience. So that pretty much ruled out any of the BIG name destinations that “foodies” would recommend. I also couldn’t justify the prices that some of these places were charging. Call me spoiled, but after eating the perfect meal at The French Laundry and knowing what the bill was, I couldn’t imagine that double the cost in a Parisian 3*, 2* or even 1* would deliver double the pleasure.
But there’s a movement in France away from traditional, lavish and often unapproachable dining and it’s got a name… Bistronomy. It’s about young cooks who may or may not be classically trained but who have all spent time in Michelin starred kitchens have gone out on their own and are revelling in their freedom to veer away from the conventional to create very good food at a more affordable price.
Daniel Rose, the 33 year-old American-born chef at Spring restaurant is almost always mentioned whenever the term Bistronomy comes up. His 22 seat restaurant is a tough place to get in to, but luck would have it they are trying out a new online lunch reservation system and I jumped on it! At €42/person ($60) for a 3 course meal without drinks, this was a splurge. But compared to the Michelin starred world of dining, this menu is a steal.
Spring is located down a small street nestled between Les Halles and the Louvre. I loved the open kitchen which takes up almost as much room as the seating area of the restaurant. Our table had a great view of the action in the kitchen where Chef Rose communicated with his staff in English and French. Sitting down, I immediately knew that I was in for a treat and relaxed into a special meal with a lovely glass of Champagne.
The menu changes daily as Rose feels that he doesn’t see a point of going to work if he has to cook the same thing every day. We weren’t even given a menu, which meant that we were in the sommelier’s hands when it came to wine choices but her recommendations were bang on. We were offered 3 first tastes, all simple but I saw it as showing confidence in showcasing stellar ingredients.
Spring – 6 Rue Bailleul, 75001 Paris