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Spring, Septime, or Sola?

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Hi, all,
I was looking for recommendations for restaurants that start with the letter 'S'..... ;)

I'm having a hard time deciding where to book for dinner in Paris two weeks from now. We're there for only two nights, and we'll be going to CAJ for one of those. It's tough deciding between going back to a place that one has enjoyed many times and trying something new, but I am thinking that since we have one base covered, we should try something new the other night.

I'm unclear about Spring and Septime - they seem slightly controversial, and I'm not sure why. Or am I just reading into the normal mix of reviews of any restaurant? Also, I read here that the chef from Spring left - is that a reason not to go there?

Sola sounded intriguing. But it sounds like Paris doesn't have great Japanese food, so, coming from a city that does, will I likely find Sola disappointing, versus a more French place?

One last question: I remember eating at Paul Bert years ago and thoroughly enjoying it. Sounds like the chef has a new place, 6 Paul Bert. Would folks recommend that?

Thanks for any help you can provide!

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  1. Of the 3? Spring. Hands down.
    You might have been confused by the news that Josh of Spring was leaving. He is/was the wine guru of Spring, not "the other chef".

    3 Replies
    1. re: Parigi

      We have certainly enjoyed Septime, have not been to Sola. But I'm with Parigi. I was at Spring for dinner two Saturdays ago, table for three -- unfortunately sans my wife, whose turn it was that day to have the holiday bug and stay back at the apt. We had the table directly in front of the gleaming open kitchen, what an impressive team and show. Chef Rose was very much present.

      Among a few standout presentations I think of the truffled bullion, accompanied by small truffle sandwiches -- my favorite dish of our 11-day trip. -- Jake

      1. re: Parigi

        Thanks for the recommendation. And, yes, now that you say that, I recall it was the wine person leaving. I see from their website that they sell wine. Just curious - did Mr. Adler run that side of the business before he left?

        1. re: kat888

          Yes he did and he was a charmer & accessible etc. and the Boutique was fun and ever-evolving as apparently (according to Paris by Mouth) it will continue to be.

          You may also have read that James Henry left Spring the Resturant for Au Passage and now Bones; but listen, Ducasse, Savoy and Robuchon spin off chefs like fingers flick off water when there are only those silly blow dryers. Rose is at a point where he's training the chefs of tmrw. As an educator, I think one's students who surpass you are a feather in your cap not a loss.

      2. There's a frivolous thing elsewhere entitled "FAQ: What’s better - Septime, Saturne, Frenchie, Spring, Chez L’Ami Jean, etc., etc., etc."

        2 Replies
        1. re: John Talbott

          Hmmm, I read your blog but somehow I missed that post. I hope you didn't think I was expecting people to mind read - I just wanted some clarification on opinions. I read some comments that seemed to allude that this was a debated topic. And not of the type, 'Which is your favorite of these great places we all love,' but more like, 'I don't get why everyone thinks this place is great.'

          Nevertheless, I do have to say that CHers do seem good at 'divining' and reading minds! I've enjoyed all the recommendations I've ever gotten! =)

          1. re: John Talbott

            hehe, I guess I will cancel my Septime reservation and stick with Spring! Yes a great post, though we will keep asking for your advice. I agree that we are really lucky to have these sorts of decisions to make and that the company is a vital aspect to the flavor. The key for me is to be PRESENT in the moment. Worst case I can run to the nearest chocolate shop afterwards. Oh what fun.

          2. I hear your angst and your quandary in choosing between an old friend and the possibility of making a new one. Or, choosing among the possible new conquests. Just last night I warned my DH that we had only 6 dinners in Paris during our next visit. He ticked off 6 delicious tables and went back to his paper.

            It's awfully hard to give up a proven thing and also to miss seeing providers we've come to admire and love. So for us, the new guys will just have to wait. And you know what? By the time we go to choose again, the bench will have just as many new players while some of today's hot numbers will have been sidelined.