There’s a new restaurant in Austin, this continually changing and growing Texas capitol city: LaV, pronounced La Vie – to life! A most appropriate name as this new dining establishment is nothing if not lively. You may have already heard or read about it, but it takes walking in the door, being awed by the lush French atmosphere and amazed by the animated and bubbly scene before you to fully understand why the name LaV is just so right.
There is a rustic yet sophisticated French-countryside feel in a delightfully welcome setting. The design firm of McAlpine Tankersley Architecture and McAlpine Booth & Ferrier Interiors have created a true Provence, France restaurant modeled after a 1920s warehouse. Be sure to check out the marvelous pewter bar and the infinitely well-stocked wine racks. Chef Allison Jenkins focuses on the simple yet stylish Provencal cuisine, serving such dishes as a salad with roasted shallot and walnut vinaigrette, potato and celeric soup, and a grilled durade with fennel confit, among many other brilliant dishes. The restaurant is located in Austin’s burgeoning eastside, a new, happening district. On your next Austin visit, absolutely do not miss experiencing LaV!1501 E. 7th Street, Austin, TX, Tel: 512-391-1888, www.lavaustin.com.
Among the countless fine restaurants in New York, if it’s Provencal cuisine you crave, check out La Mediterraneé. Here, where new-fangled fusion cuisines come and go, it’s a joy to find a truly French restaurant. At La Mediterraneé, there’s an old-school romance feel to the place, with thickly stuccoed walls, painted murals and pretty rose-painted wine buckets. 947 Second Avenue @ 50th St., 212-755-4155, www.lamediterraneeny.com.