Last week, we reviewed the restaurant Narro, a rare gourmet gem in the midst of student-central in the Latin Quarter. This week, we miraculously found yet another fabulous restaurant not far away in the fifth arrondissement, Louis Vins.
I have been to Louis Vins before and liked it, but this time I absolutely loved it, as did my three dinner companions. What made the difference? A new chef, or cheffe, as the French now say, Mélanie Serre, who made us happy from the beginning to the end of the meal, with the help of the very attentive servers.
The woody decor has not changed, and the hanging light fixtures over the tables are still there, but thankfully they have been raised up higher so diners no longer hit their heads on them every time they stand up.
As a starter, my friends shared a generous helping of luscious, flavorful caramelized pork ribs, conveniently boned and served in a piping hot pan with spring onions, toasted sesame seeds and barbecue sauce.
I opted for the delicious, perfectly cooked egg with a crunchy crust, topped with Parmesan foam. It was served with a little open-faced sandwich of mushroom purée and Mangalitza ham. Pure comfort.
Our two visitors from Britain both chose the confit leg of lamb, served with the lovely, tender white beans from the Côtes d’Armor region of France called cocos de Paimpol and with lardo di Colonnata (meltingly good cured pork fat) and thyme. Much praise was heaped upon this superb dish by everyone present.
Just as good was the meaty, tender, perfectly cooked pigeon, wonderfully accompanied by puréed pumpkin, quince paste and roasted chestnuts.
I had something a little more unusual: gyozas (Japanese dumplings) filled with tender beef cheek meat and served with a large piece of luscious pan-fried foie gras and corn “onctuosité” (purée) with coriander.
You would think that the chef couldn’t reach any higher than she already had, but then she topped herself with the desserts, especially the Pavlova, which thrilled us all with a brilliant combination of sweet meringue, tart passion fruit and mango, nuts and thin, tender slices of coconut.
It outshone the other dessert, which was nevertheless excellent on its own terms: roasted figs with hazelnut frangipane and white-chocolate ganache.
Louis Vins and Narro prove that miracles can happen, even in some of Paris‘s gourmet wastelands.Favorite