Monday, 21 December 2009

A hyped restaurant (that doesn't exist yet)
and its new boutique

2009 saw a massive, massive buzz on one particular restaurant, the tiny 'Spring' founded by American Daniel Rose in a tiny space up near Montmartre. Part of its runaway success was due to the fact that you had to book months and months and months ahead to get in there. And then they closed it last August.

Daniel had decided to get somewhere a little bigger, and was supposed to open a new place soon afterwards in rue Bailleul in Les Halles, not far from the apartment. However, work got more and more behind schedule, and in the meantime Mr. Rose made a chance encounter that spurred him into opening... his own boutique! We went down to rue de l'Arbre Sec and visited the place for you...



American chefs are probably as chic in Paris as French chefs are in America, but that's not the phenomenon that brought Chicago-born Daniel Rose to Paris back in 1998. In the city to study philosophy, he soon fell in love with the cuisine, and after finishing university enrolled at the prestigious Institut Paul Bocuse in Lyon. After a quick stint in restaurants all over the world, and a few months as Paris' ultra-posh Meurice, he decided to open his own place in the 9th arrondissement in 2006 - with just 16 seats in it! Spring was born and success was almost immediate. Before long, Daniel realised that he would need more space (especially in the kitchen) and found an old skateboard shop in the centre of town that looked perfect. We were pretty happy because it's just a short walk from the Great Apartment!

Unfortunately, building worked was considerably impeded by the Paris council dragging their feet with the building permits and the opening date was pushed back, and back again. After a visit of the new place on the Spring blog in February 2009 and the promise of a 20)seat restaurant with its own wine bar in the 16th century cellar... nothing. Or almost...

Daniel seemed to have some unexpected free time on his hands, so he turned the old Spring into 'Table 28', a rotisserie that aims to "test new ideas and products..." such as the Rennes cuckoo (which turns out to be a posh type of chicken!).

Then a chance meeting with wine expert Josh Adler from San Francisco, and the freeing up of a space just 30 seconds from the new (future) restaurant, encouraged Daniel to found his own boutique. You'll find lots of wine there - obviously - but also selected, unusual products including those he uses in his dishes, sandwiches to eat out, ham sliced upon request...

If Spring (the restaurant) is in hibernation, Spring (the boutique) is firing on all cylinders!


After a launch party on Beaujolais Nouveau night and a few wine and champagne tastings, the boutique has got off to rather a good start. We went down to take a look.

In a deliberately simple setting you'll find some interesting produce: succulent wines, forgotten varieties of vegetables, perfumed cooking oils... and a few quirky touches like the vintage pitchers from the 30s - 50s. And even if the colours of the shop are muted, the welcome is extremely warm and enthusiastic (not always the case in Paris!)...

photos : JasonW

If you're walking in Les Halles (and frankly, the apartment's just ten minutes away) Spring Boutique is at 52 Rue de l'Arbre Sec, 75001 Paris (here and on our map of all things cool near the apartment). Open Tuesday - Saturday, 10.30am - 9pm.

The new Spring restaurant, 6 rue Bailleul, 75001 Paris (here) should be open early 2010, or perhaps later than that, who can say? ;-) (read Daniel Rose's blog to be kept up to date with his news).


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