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Jul 10, 2013 09:15 AM

Seeking opinions re: Spring v. Les Climats

Will be in Paris for about 24 hours in early August and was able to get a 9:30 seating at Spring and an 8:00 seating at Les Climats. Am I crazy for leaning toward Les Climats? Can some of you that have eaten at one or both help me solve this dilemma? Thanks much.

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  1. Two completely different animals. Totally different ambiances. From the pictures of plates at Les Climats, I would say that the food is much more mannered than at Spring where it's all about maximizing product rather than manipulating it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mangeur

      "Two completely different animals. "
      If you want "the" meal of 24 hours, it's Spring, hands down.
      But if it's good weather, eating in the garden at Les Climats is OK.
      And yes, I have eaten at both, indeed July 5th and 8th.
      Can you do Les Climats for lunch and Spring for dinner?

    2. Spring is celebratory, stratospheric.
      Les Climats, which I have not been, es not send out those vibes in its albeit somewhat positive reviews.

      1. Thanks for the great answers. I think one of my concerns was that my fiancee does not eat pork or seafood and we would be at the Chef's whim at Spring. I have an email in to the restaurant inquiring about the possibility of accommodating her but I know that's a bit of a reach. If they can I think Spring becomes a no-brainer, if not on verra. John, I would love to do Les Climats for lunch but we may or may not have a lunch obligation. Au pire maybe we could swing by there for an afternoon snack given that we'll be nearby.

        2 Replies
        1. re: intbusesq

          Spring will ask you when reserving and when ordering if you have any food issues - just say no pork or seafood.

          1. re: intbusesq

            Spring was the best meal of our May trip and they will make accommodations for dislikes/allergies.

          2. We had the pleasure of dining last night at Spring, our last night on the trip.
            Getting goosebumps just thinking of it. We went all in and did the cheese course and wine pairings. Just go back home to Texas after about 4 hours sleep last night after that incredible evening.
            Definitely one of the top 3, if not the best meals of my life. Ended up eating in the wine cellar, which I didn't mind considering I made a 7:00 reservation only about a month ago and changed it to 9:30 pm only yesterday morning.
            Favorites were the cold lobster dish with peas and the veal cooked two ways, but really there were no misses on the entire menu.
            They even inquired about allergies or things we didn't like when we sat down.
            Service was attentive, warm and informative with out being overbearing or pretentious in any way.

            1. A little dissenting opinion here. I think Spring wins by a whisker on the food side but Les Climats, for me at least, is the better overall experience. The cuisine is excellent and the "cadre"/ physical space is superb... maybe somewhat more enjoyable in the garden or "verrière" for lunch when the weather is good but certainly the main dining room and bar are wonderfully well designed, comfortable, and relaxing. And the clientèle tends to be more French and less Anglo-Saxon (not sure if that will still be the case in August) than at Spring. Its only real deficit is also one of its assets... a spectacular but expensive collection of Burgundies that has penny-pinching and Bordeaux-loyal moi squirming in my seat. But I have the same omg!-squirming at Spring when it comes to the wine list. There are, however, bargains to be found at both... it just takes a lot of searching and help from the waiter.

              There may be a certain problem since I suspect pork lard is used in some preparations. But most restaurants are sensitive to Jewish and Muslim dietary restrictions so I'm sure that an entirely pork-less and seafood-less meal could be arranged with a little advance warning.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Parnassien

                Parn, since most of us here are quite familiar with Spring and not so, if at all, with Les Climats, do you want to give us your good take on the plates you encountered? Many thanks.

                1. re: mangeur

                  Mangeur, I've been 3 times now... twice for dinner and once for lunch. The details of the food are a bit blurred because each time it was a foursome with lots of sharing ...and witty conversations. The standout dish for me was a perfectly cooked lacquered pigeon.... a taste of Japan, China, and France in one bite. Loved it. It was served with a sort of beetroot purée that, even though I've sworn never to eat another beet (the veggie du moment and served everywhere to the point of boredom), I scrapped every last bit from the plate... maybe beetroot ain't so bad after all. Having sampled it from a friend's plate on our first visit, I also purred over a couldn't-be-any-better cod steak in a soup/ emulsion of carrots, saffron, and olives on my second visit ... not a big fan of cod no matter how well done but when soaked in this carroty frothy soup was somehow addictive. I've also sampled the excellent sea bream sashimi arranged on layers of paper-thin cucumber as well as very japonais-y rounds of mackerel with a jellied vinaigrette (hinting of cherries) and thin slices of radishes and some other Asian veggies/ fruits (can't remember exactly... maybe daikon was one)... very good and made even better by me sprinkling a little fleur de sel over it. My fave starter: I had a little tastebud orgasm from the pea crème cuite with a pea velouté... superb.

                  The menu is not especially innovative ... very much in the modern French mode with Japanese, Chinese and Moroccan inspirations (and probably others). I have seen most of the dishes in one form or another elsewhere... but each of the ones I've tried was slightly different when sampled on my second or third visit. I found the servers rather delightful and very enthusiastic ... 2 of the 3 waiters I've encountered there had that distinct inflection "de la zone"/ ghetto that re-inforced the cosmopolitain tone of the restaurant... but that's just a by-the-way for French speakers/ taxpayers that the restaurant/ culinary training schools set up in the deprived suburbs in the last few years seem to be turning out great waiters... and a signal to others that the service here does not seem to suffer from the way too common icy politeness and pomposity.

                  1. re: Parnassien

                    Many thanks for the descriptions. May have to book.

                    1. re: mangeur

                      Thanks, this lively, thoughtful and detailed description (not that I'm surprised to read this from Parnassien) puts it on our list. -- Jake