This may sound a little strange, but I didn't plan on liking LaV. There just seemed a little too much hype, a little too much glitter, a few too many stories about outrageously-priced wine lists and food that didn't live up to its price tag. I assiduously avoided it for months after it opened. But then a friend suggested that we go, and because I truly feel like it is my duty as a restaurant blogger to have tried every single restaurant in this town, I agreed.
It's really difficult not to love the interior of the space. It is decadent and rich, and it is easy to convince yourself that you're in a (restrained, updated) chateau somewhere in France.
If you're planning a visit and you're wondering whether you're going to be able to afford a drink, the answer is yes. The wine list is HUGE. And yes, they do carry $6700 bottles of wine. But they also offer wines priced comparably to pretty much every other wine list in town. I was able to order a delicious $10 glass of prosecco, and my husband had an outstanding old fashioned for $12.
Once we were settled in with a sip or two of our drinks, we turned to the food.
They started us off with a little loaf of bread with butter.
Our friend had an aqua dulce green salad tossed with hazelnut vinaigrette and served with warm goat crottin ($14). I had just a little bite of this - enough to know that the crottin was ah-may-zing, just a tiny bit stinky and warm and deeelicious.
Did I like it? It was sumptuous. It was spendy. It could easily provide suitable cover for all of your annoying pretentious fantasies. But, despite myself, yes, I liked it. There are other places in Austin with better food, but there aren't many places where you can spend an hour or two playing that you're a richy-rich in the French countryside, and afterwards walk less than a block and pull up a stool at a dive bar in the best city in the world.
1501 E. 7th Street
Austin, TX 78702