Monday, October 6, 2014

Oh la LaV

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.

La V 1

La V 12

La V 2

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.

La V 3

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.

La V 5

My husband tried the fall broccoli soup with aged cheddar crisps ($10). It had a roast-y, very broccoli-forward flavor. The aged cheddar crisps were a nice textural addition.

La V 4

For my entree, I chose the roasted whole black sea bass with eggplant caponata and charred lemon ($32). It was a little too fussy for my mood, trying to extract the meat from the bones, but the caponata was absolutely perfect - the flavors and textures melded beautifully together and provided a luscious counterpoint to the flaky fish.

La V 7

My husband ordered the bacon wrapped Massachusetts cod with beluga lentils, mushrooms, and sherry reduction ($33). I thought the bacon overpowered the cod and lentils aren't my starch of choice; this dish didn't really work for me.

La V 6

Our friend ordered one of the small plates for her entree, the hand-rolled whole wheat garganelli with lamb sausage ragout and cherry tomatoes, topped with pecorino ($17). This was my favorite of the three dishes, and I wished for an entree-sized portion of it.

La V 8

We finished the meal with warm brioche doughnuts with Texas peach jam ($11):

La V 9

And my favorite dish of the meal, the Stilton bleu cheese ice cream with port figs and candied pecans - a little painfully priced at $8 for a tiny portion (see the fig on the bottom of the bowl for scale), but it was wonderful (so wonderful that I just looked online for bleu cheese ice cream recipes).

La V 10

The check was presented in this beautiful suede folder. No detail was overlooked here.

La V 11

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
(512) 391-1888
Their website

1 comment:

  1. I wish I had better photos of this space during the day. Just so gorgeous.


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