LAVA, Wilfried Romain's bistronomic restaurant, as exotic as it is enticing

Published by Manon de Sortiraparis · Photos by Manon de Sortiraparis · Published on March 22th, 2024 at 11:54 p.m.
Louis Vins gives way to LAVA, chef Wilfried Romain's bistronomic restaurant with influences from elsewhere. An eccentric and frankly enticing table.

Louis Vins, the bistronomic restaurant in the Quartier Latin, bid farewell last year to make way for a new gastronomic project, Lava, headed by Wilfried Romain. Although the chef from Metz has worked at Sur Mesure and Baudelaire, he is best known to the general public for his participation in Top Chef season 13.

Accompanied by head sommelier Rémi Badjoint, whom he met at Baudelaire, the 30-year-old chef offers a bistronomic cuisine with travel influences. It has to be said that this tall, easy-going fellow has no trouble finding inspiration in the memories he inherited from his experiences in Asia, Latin America and the four corners of the globe.

LAVA - Brocoli sauce 5C1MLAVA - Brocoli sauce 5C1MLAVA - Brocoli sauce 5C1MLAVA - Brocoli sauce 5C1M

While the decor is sober, in shades of deep gray and black, the cuisine is devilishly flirtatious, if not downright eccentric - with a great deal of good taste, mind you. The restaurant will soon be offering a lunch menu at €35 starter/main course or main course/dessert and €39 starter/main course/dessert.

In the meantime, head for the 5-course menu (75€), which varies according to the chef's whims, or the à la carte menu, which features sharing plates of varying sizes and consistencies, starting with this black Soulages ceviche (19€), with black sesame rice cream and merken (19€) - a smoked chili condiment from Mapuche cuisine, an aboriginal community living in Chile and Argentina ; and this amazing veal tartare (18€), spiced up with chimichurri sauce, voatsiperifery pepper and pecorino. I'll be damned!

LAVA - Filet de boeuf au barbecueLAVA - Filet de boeuf au barbecueLAVA - Filet de boeuf au barbecueLAVA - Filet de boeuf au barbecue

The rest is of the same ilk: grilled ikejime pollack with miso, pointed cabbage, kombu and green curry (28€), broccoli that's not as simple as it looks, with a host of different textures and a mysterious 5C1M sauce (16€), not forgetting our favorite, a fillet of axuria beef bursting with the scents of barbecued beef, the season's first green asparagus and a generous, creamy smoked mousseline with body and flavor (30€). The rhubarb dessert (14€) plays both hot and cold, with a mezcal and chipotle pepper jelly.

The dishes, of course, are enhanced by the wine pairings of Rémi Badjoint, formerly of the Michelin-starred restaurant Nomicos, who has worked hard to create a list of 250 fine wines, ranging from small, confidential estates to major, must-try appellations. The latter even have their moment, as LAVA switches to a wine bar format from 4pm to 7pm.

LAVA - Black cevicheLAVA - Black cevicheLAVA - Black cevicheLAVA - Black ceviche

A moment to toast, at the counter or on the soon-to-be-installed terrace, over cheeses from master affineurs and charcuterie from South-West producers. Forget Louis Vins, LAVA is here.

Practical information

Location

9 Rue de la Montagne Sainte Geneviève
75005 Paris 5

Official website
www.lava-paris.com

More information
Dinner Tuesday to Saturday: 7:00 pm - 10:30 pm Lunch Friday and Saturday: 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm Wine bar and nibbles Tuesday to Saturday: 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

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