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Spring on Friday night and an easy Saturday

We had another wonderful meal at Spring last night. We did take a cab, since I'm sure it would have been "le divorce" if I had made Den walk anywhere else after our marathon session yesterday afternoon. From Champ de Mars to Bois de Boulognes to L'Arc de Triomphe to Place Madeleine back to the Marais! Oh well, I really didn't have to worry about counting calories tonight!

We got to the tiny restaurant in the 9th at about 8:30pm. Daniel asks everyone to come at around that time, he likes to start serving dinner at around 9pm, but won't serve until everyone in his 16 seat place is there. We started with a Reisling for an aperitif, served nice and chilled and neither too sweet or too dry, just right! There was a deliciously herbed butter served with very crusty bread. Butter is not usually served in Parisian restaurants, so we were surprised to see this. Den just about swooned with delight when he tasted the butter. We asked our waiter if Daniel had made the butter, but we were told it was from a little creamerie around the corner. We then spent most of the time before our meal was served trying not to gobble down gobs of butter and bread! It was just so good, but we knew there was so much more goodness to come.

The restaurant was split between Parisians and English speaking tourists. Daniel and his lovely fellow chef Marie were busy in their tiny kitchen getting the first courses ready, tasting and flavouring as they went along. We were served a delightful ameuse guele of cherry tomatoe with a carmalized bottom! Very different and surprisingly good. The first course was a beef broth with little pea-pureed ravioli and meaty chunks of artichoke. The broth was very flavourful and the ravioli were melt in your mouth. We had the same wine as last year, a gamay from the Loire which Den had fallen in love with and spent the year trying to find in Ontario and Quebec, to no avail. It was as good as he remembered it and I think we got the last bottle!

Our second course was lotte (monkfish) served barely warmed over a cucumber and radish cubed salad with a side of pepper-spiced melon. The flavour combinations that Daniel puts together are the things that make you go.........hhhhhhhhhhmmmmmmm, but they always seem to work. The lotte provided a smooth contrast to the crunchy vegetables and spicy melon. It disappeared from our plates before we knew it.

Next came 2 different types of veal, a very pink slice barely sauteed served with its veal marrow and a small piece of roasted veal, very tender and flavourful. This was served with one white asparagus and another fried stalk of asparagus. Again, a wonderful contrast of flavour and texture and there was not a drop of anything left on our plates. Everyone around us ate every morsel of food served to them. This is not dining for anyone who is timid or picky about their food, but if you are willing to put yourself in Daniel's very capable hands, you will be rewarded with such inventive, delicious cuisine.

Dessert was a trio of very fresh berries served with creme anglaise. So fresh and light, the perfect way to end our meal. Daniel also surprised us with tiny slices of pain perdu after the berries, very yummy and just sweet enough. We finished our wine and Den had an infusion de the that Daniel makes himself, tailoring the flavours to the meal he has just served.

We stayed behind a bit and chatted with the young French couple next to us. It was their first time at Spring and it was the man's 31st birthday. What a wonderful way to celebrate! Daniel came over and treated us to some more wine and we talked about the cooking class we will take with him on Tuesday. He asked us if there was anything in particular we wanted to make and we said we would leave it up to him to choose whatever looked good that day at the market.

We headed home a little after midnight, having enjoyed a great meal from a very talented young chef who has great things in store for him in the future. He is in the process of getting a new restaurant in the 1st arrondissment ready for opening in the fall, but like all things in Paris, time and money have kept him from his deadline, which was actually sometime this spring. Dinner is 49 euros for 4 courses and I don't think you will find better value for the money anywhere else in Paris.

I got up late again on Saturday morning. Three late dinners comprising of 3 course meals with lots of wine in a row, combined with all the walking we had done in the previous week was catching up with me. I am a grandmother you know (just remember a very YOUNG grandmother!!) We decided to just take it easy today, wandering the little side streets of the Marais and enjoying the sunshine. Unfortunately, the sunshine didn't stick around and it started to drizzle around 1pm. We found ourselves on rue de Bretagne and made our way to le Marche des Enfants Rouge for lunch. It is a small covered market offering fruit and vegetable stalls, along with fish, meat and cheese counters and several different world cuisines with take out or sit down meals available. We decided on Lebanese and each had a vegeterian plate with different salads and spreads so we could share. We sat outside on shared picnic tables which were covered to protect us from the rain. It was very good and fresh and we enjoyed this simple lunch very much. We walked back to the apartment since the rain was not letting up and I was chilled from wearing sandals and not having a coat. Once back home, I decided to have a much needed nap and slept for almost 2 hours! Den played on the internet and he also fell asleep on the couch for a little while. We decided to keep things simple for dinner as well, and went out looking for some takeout to bring back to the apartment. We walked down Rivoli to where it becomes St Antone, popping into different wine and cheese stores, bakeries and the every present Monoprix. We bought a couple of bottles of wine, including the Tavel Rose we had at the Asian restaurant a few nights ago. We stocked up on chocolate and yogurt at the Monoprix and walked back to put our purchases away, going back out to look for some fresh pasta and sauce for dinner. We found some and picked up bread, cheese and dessert and came back home to relax and eat a leisurely, simple dinner in our apartment. I know it's not an exciting way to spend a Saturday night in Paris, but we just needed to take it down a notch today. Den made a delicious little dinner and we made our way through a nice bottle of Gamay similar to the one we had last night. Dessert was a pear and chocolate almond tart, just the right way to end our meal.

I am sitting here blogging and Den is looking at a real estate magazine, still dreaming about owning an apartment in Paris. We are halfway through our trip and are having the time of our lives. We know how lucky we are to be able to do this and intent to keep doing it for as long as we can, because no one knows what life brings!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 23, 2009 2:09 PM.

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