Wednesday, May 29, 2013

My Trip to Paris, France: Spring

On the last full day in Paris, Mr. M&P and I set off on our own to see the last bits of the major tourist attractions: the Eiffel Tower. We stood in line and waited to buy tickets. The elevators brought us to the very top in two trips. Sure it was cliche and cheesy but I enjoyed the view from up there. Due to a delayed opening, we weren't able to do much else before we met up with our friends for a falafel sandwich at L'As Du Fallafel. After a quick lunch, off we went again to see Napoleon's tomb and amory at the Invalids. If you like weapons, then this is the museum for you and it was for me. Both old and modern exhibits (knight's armor and WWII memorabilia) were very interesting.

We headed back towards our hotel to drop off a few items then we went to look for souvenirs. Most of my souvenirs are food related regardless of the trip. So the area near our hotel called Place de Madeline was the perfect place to look for such items. We found several chocolate shops, the Maille mustard store, and other specialty gourmet food stores. It was perfect. I got hungry on my quest so this is when I picked up the foie gras and fig sandwich from Fauchon to snack on with Mr. M&P and Ms. Poutine Esq to share.

After the long day, we went back to the hotel to rest a bit, shower, and head out for some drinks before dinner. Already tipsy from the wine, we arrived at Spring right on time for our reservation at 9:30pm. After a brief wait, we were led to our table. We ordered even more wine while the waiter reminded us that there was no menu. Everyone was served the same thing for €79 with 2 entrees, a main course, and a dessert.
The bread hit the table and I inhaled it along with the butter. I needed to sober up a bit to fully enjoy the meal. The dishes started light with sliced ham, radishes served with butter, and fried oysters. All really wonderful. The ham was salty and very thinly sliced. The radishes were fresh, crunchy, and spicy. Dipping it into the butter added a creamy, fatty richness. The oysters were so incredibly fresh. Just a squeeze of lemon accented the brininess of it.

The first entree (yes, the above was the amuse bouche) was white asparagus with citrus segments, dill, and egg in a mushroom broth. Really light but felt meaty with the large stalks of asparagus. The dish seemed simple but the flavors said otherwise. Really well balanced with the fruit, herbs, and broth.
The second entree was lobster and morels in a rice seafood broth with a hint of cream poured tableside. I love tableside service. This was an intense dish. Much different from what we've had so far in this meal. The lobster was buttery, tender, and sweet. The morel mushrooms were deep in earthy flavor but didn't overpower the delicate nature of the lobster. The broth brought everything together into one homogeneous dish. I loved this.
For the main course, we were served a seared duck breast with pork belly and turnips. The skin of the duck was perfectly rendered and crispy. The meat of the duck was so tender and pink, just the way I like it. The sauce was rich yet not heavy. A good pairing to a fatty piece of meat. The plate was lightened up with the turnips which added a welcomed textural contrast and flavor.
We skipped the cheese course as we were getting pretty full by now. Dessert was a sample of hazelnut gelato with raisins...
A flourless chocolate tart...
And passionfruit curd with lemon sorbet and cacao nibs on top.
I loved how every dessert was different. A nutty rich gelato with crunchy toasted hazelnuts, a bittersweet chocolate tart both light and rich, and a refreshing and fruity sorbet with a tart curd.

After everything that I've eaten and experienced, this was my absolute favorite meal of the trip. The food was well thought out from the portion size to the ingredients to the execution. Even the service honed in onto our savvy sarcasm and chimed in. I would not hesitate to go back and try more of the food. It also didn't hurt that they took reservations via email.

6 Rue Bailleul
Paris, France 75001
+33 1 45 96 05 72

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