Daniel Rose, the American chef, is being wooed. Every day his phone at Spring rings off the hook. "Are you free?" beg the callers, a little too desperate at times for his taste. The answer, short of ten days' notice, is no.
Hard-to-get is not just a pose for a man with sixteen seats. The diners know their luck in scoring a date. They have read the reviews and know all the rules: one seating and no substitutions. They arrive bursting with anticipation, walking billboards for the season.
The foodie faithful enter the 26 m2 chapel through a door that Rose designed. They are greeted by the acolyte, a lovely waitress who whispers the menu. She constitutes, aside from the occasional stagière, the entire staff of Spring. Rose himself shops and mops and does everything else in between.
The "clients," as he likes to call them, fall silent with the first course - a velouté sans crème (carotte). They ponder the secret (duck fat) behind his famous creamless soup, which is prettied by a foie gras throw pillow.
When presented with a whole dorade, stuffed with rosemary and red onion, every diner wears the young face of love. Round three, during which Rose wanders, looking worried and asking about salt, is spring lamb en croute à l'Italien .
One wonders, watching Rose with his clients, if perhaps he is wooing them, too. But as he builds the dessert, little towers of cake and cream, the object of his desire becomes clear. Is he touching a lover's face or arranging a garnish? This young chef has got it bad for his food.
28 rue de la Tour d'Auvergne, 75009
Tuesday - Friday nights only
Tel: 01 45 96 05 72