IL LUPONE (Nakameguro)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 10.2012 French, Italian & Other Europian 2 comments 0 trackback
Thanks for all the messages to continue this blog. I've been real busy lately and just didn't have time to add new posts. I'll try to add a new post once a week, but if I can't at times, it doesn't mean that this blog is finished. So, here is a new post......

イル ルポーネ outside
Nakameguro has several great Italian restaurants and if you want some good Naples style pizza and food of Campagna state (located at southern Italy), IL LUPONE is the place to go.

イル ルポーネ inside 2
Il Lupone, one of the few pizza restaurants which is authorized as genuine Naples style pizza by Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana. Its not only the taste which matters, but how the pizza oven was made, temperature of the oven, and several other factors.

イル ルポーネ マルゲリータ
If you are dining here for the first time, you probably want to try basic pizza, MARGHERITA for 1,500 yen, Mozzarella they use is flown from Naples twice a week and its the real deal.

イル ルポーネ クアトロフォルマッジ
Another favorite is QUATTRO FORMAGGI for 1,900 yen, a pizza topped with four cheese. Mozzarella, Provola, Gorgonzola and Parmigiano Reggiano.

イル ルポーネ カルッツォーネ
If you prefer not to have pizza, their CALZONE for 1,700 yen is good as any other Italian restaurant in Tokyo.

イル ルポーネ ハム類の盛り合わせ
For antipasto, HAM RUI NO MORIAWASE (Assorted Hams) for 1,500 yen,

イル ルポーネ セロリとタコのサラダ。1,300円
MADAKO TOH CELORY NO SALAD (Octopus and Celery Salad) for 1,300 yen,

イル ルポーネ リコッタチーズを詰めた茄子のオーブン焼き
REISEI RICOTTA CHEESE WO TSUMETA NASU NO OVEN YAKI (Baked Ricotta Cheese wrapped with sliced Eggplant served cold) for 1,200 yen,

イル ルポーネ 生シラウオ オリーブオイルとレモン
and when in season, NAMASHIRAUO OLIVE OIL TOH LEMON (Fresh raw Noodlefish with Olive Oil and Lemon) are favorites of regulars.

イル ルポーネ ラグーのジーティタリアーティ
They offer several pastas and my favorite is RAGU NO ZITI TAGLIATI (Ragu Ziti).

イル ルポーネ 自家製サルシッチャのグリル
For your main dish, JIKASEI SAUSAGE NO GRILL (Grilled homemade sausage) for 1,800 yen,

イル ルポーネ もち豚のロースト。2,800円
HONETSUKI ROSU TOH JYAGAIMO NO OVEN YAKI (Grilled Mochi Pork Chop & Potatoes) for 2,800 yen,

イル ルポーネ 鶏のロースト、2,000円
FRANCE SAN HINADORI NO MARUICHIWA ROAST ROSEMARY FUUMI (Roast Chicken in Rosemary flavor) for 2,000 yen are available,

イル ルポーネ コダイのアクアパッツァ
but if you want to have some fish instead there is AQUAPAZZA available as well.

イル ルポーネ menu
Their antipasto and main dish menu changes by the day, so make sure you ask for today's specials. Because their prices are reasonable, its a hard table to get. Its also popular to Italian's living in Tokyo, which tells you that its one of the top southern Italian restaurants in Tokyo.

イル ルポーネ inside

IL LUPONE(in Japanese, イル ルポーネ)
Address: 2-10-19 Nakameguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都目黒区中目黒2-10-19)
Nearest train station: Tokyo Metro or Tokyu Toyoko Nakameguro (6 min walk)
Tel: 03-5722-6789
Reservations: Yes (must)
Website: http://www.il-lupone.jp/ (in Japanese only)
English menu: No
Credit Card: Yes
Open: Tuesday-Friday 6pm-12am Saturday, Sunday & Holiday 12pm-2:30pm, 6pm-10pm
Closed: Monday

Prices: Antipasto 800-1,500 yen
Pizza 1,400-2,300 yen
Pasta 1,300-2,000 yen
Main Dishes 1,800-3,500 yen

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LE PETIT BEDON (Daikanyama)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 28.2012 French, Italian & Other Europian 0 comments 0 trackback
ル・プティ・ブドン outside
One of the most popular classical French restaurants to the French community here and local foodies is LE PETIT BEDON at Daikanyama. You should try one of their course menus since you can choose what you want, just like ordering from the regular menu.

ル・プティ・ブドン フォアグラのポワレ 季節のフルーツと共に
Here are some of their popular dishes starting from hors d'oervres. FOIE GRAS NO POWARE KISETSU NO FRUITS TOH TOMONI (Pan fried foie gras with seasonal fruits),

ル・プティ・ブドン オマール海老の薄切り ナスのキャビア見立て添え バルサミコ風味
HOMARD EBI NO USUGIRI NASU TOH CAVIAR MITATEZOE BALSAMICO FUUMI (Thinly sliced lobster, eggplant & caviar with balsamico sauce),

ル・プティ・ブドン 鮮魚のカルパッチョ スパイス風味 花びらに見立てた生ズッキーニ ゲランド産塩と共に
SENGYO NO CARPACCIO (Fresh fish carpaccio),

ル・プティ・ブドン オマール海老のビスク
HOMARD EMI NO BISQUE (Lobster Bisque),

ル・プティ・ブドン 牛ホホ肉の赤ワイン煮
For your main dish, GYU HOHONIKU NO AKAWINE NI (Beef cheek red wine stew) is popular and my favorite,

ル・プティ・ブドン 骨付き子羊のグリエ

ル・プティ・ブドン オマール海老のリゾット
HOMARD EBI NO RISOTTO (Lobster risotto),

ル・プティ・ブドン 本日のお肉料理《リードヴォー赤ワインのリゾット添え》
and you can ask for HOJITSU NO ONIKU RYORI (Today's meat dish), which is usually very good as well.

ル・プティ・ブドン フロマージュワゴン
They do have a cheese wagon,

ル・プティ・ブドン フロマージュ
where you get to choose several cheeses.

ル・プティ・ブドン desert wagon
And also a desert wagon as well.

ル・プティ・ブドン inside
I've just listed some of their dishes, but you really can't go wrong whatever you order at Le Petit Bedon. Owner/chef is French and actually owns two other restaurants in near by. But Le Petit Bedon which is managed by his son, is probably the most popular among the three of them.

ル・プティ・ブドン kanban

LE PETIT BEDON (in Japanese, ル・プティ・ブドン)
Address: 13-13 Hachiyama-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo (Hillside West Basement Floor)
(in Japanese, 東京都渋谷区鉢山町13-13 ヒルサイドウエスト B1F)
Nearest train station: Tokyu Toyoko line Daikanyama (9 min walk)
Tel: 03-5457-0086
Reservations: Yes (must)
Website: http://www.pachon.co.jp/jpn/petit_bedon/index.html (in Japanese & French only)
English menu: Yes
Credit Card: Yes
Open: 11:30am-2:30pm, 6pm-10pm
Closed: None

Prices: Lunch Course 3,200, 4,000, or 4,600 yen
Dinner Course 5,300, 6,000, 8,000, 10,000 or 12,000 yen
Hors d'oervres from 1,800 yen
Soups from 800 yen
Main from 2,600 yen
Cheese 600 yen
Desert 1,500 yen

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Posted by Tokyo Joe on 09.2012 French, Italian & Other Europian 0 comments 0 trackback
Piccolo Outside
For some reason, there are many Italian restaurants in Azabu Juban area. Most of them are expensive and for special use, but one of the reasonable and probably the most popular Italian restaurant in Azabu Juban is PICCOLO GRANDE.

Piccolo バーニャカウダ 1
Piccolo Grande doesn't specialize in a specific state or area of Italian food like most other newly opened restaurants. They serve dishes which are known to most of us、but some of them with a original twist. One of their most popular antipasto is BAGNA CAUDA for 2,800 yen

Piccolo バーニャカウダ
Normally with Bagna Cauda, you dip vegetables in the sauce, but at Piccolo Grande, vegetables are cooked in the sauce. I've never seen this at any other restaurant, but its delicious.

Piccolo マグロ中おちのタルタル ガーリックトースト添え 1,700
Another popular antipasto is MAGURO NAKAOCHI NO TARUTARU GARLIC TOAST ZOE (Tartar tuna with garlic toast) for 1,700 yen.

Piccolo 前菜の盛り合わせ
Or if you want to try various antipastos, there is ZENSAI NO MORIAWASE (Assorted antipasto) for 1,900 yen.

Piccolo ホワイトアスパラのパルメザンチーズ焼き生ハムのせ
And if you happen to be visiting in the spring, one of my favorites is WHITE ASPARAGUS NO PARMESAN CHEESE YAKI NAMA HAMU NOSE (Baked white asparagus and Parmesan cheese with Prosciutto).

Piccolo 鶏白レバーの温かいサラダ マルサラワインソース フライドエッグ添え
If you want a salad instead of a normal chef's salad, you might wanna try TORI SHIRO LIVER NO ATTAKAI SALAD MARSALA WINE SAUCE FRIED EGG ZOE (Warm white chicken liver salad with fried egg and Marsala wine sauce) for 1,900 yen.

Piccolo アラビアータ
Now for pasta, some people say their SPAGHETTI ARRABBIATA for 1,500 yen is the best in Tokyo.

Piccolo イタリア産4種類のチーズとクリームソースのペンネ 1,800
If you want to have some creamy pasta, ITALIA SAN YON SHURUI NO CHEESE TOH CREAM SAUCE NO PENNE (Penne with 4 cheeses from Italy in a cream sauce) for 1,800 yen. If you like pasta with Gorgonzola cheese cream sauce, you will enjoy this maybe even more.

Piccolo 春野菜のボロネーゼ、手打ちのタリアテッレ
They do have pasta of day which is HONOJITSU NO PASTA and it changes by what was available at the market. The above is Tagliatelle Bolognese with spring vegetables.

Piccolo 冷製カラスミパスタ
They also have cold pastas as well like REISEI KARASUMI NO SPAGHETTI (Cold spaghetti Bottarga) for 2,000 yen.

Piccolo 真鯛のアクアッツア 2,500
For you main dish, there is AQUAPAZZA,

Piccolo カジキマグロのグリル
KAJIKI MAGURO NO GRILL (Grilled swordfish) for 2,000 yen,

Piccolo 香鶏の石窯焼 にんにくとジャガイモのロースト添え
TORI NO ISHIGAMA YAKI NINNIKU TOH JYAGAIMO NO ROAST ZOE (Chicken roasted in a brick oven with roasted garlic and potatoes) for 2,800 yen,

Piccolo 東京ポークのカツレツ ミラノ風
TOKYO PORK NO KATSURETU MIRANO FUU (Tokyo pork cutlet Milan style) for 2,600 yen,

Piccolo 子羊のソテーWineソース
and my favorite, KOHITSUJI NO GRILL WINE SAUCE (Grilled lamb chop with wine sauce) for 2,800 yen.

Piccolo バナナのミルクレープ
At last they do offer several desserts like BANANA NO MILLE CREPE (Banana mille crepe).

Piccolo Inside
Piccolo Grande has been around since the 80's and is a casual, friendly type Italian restaurant. You probably won't get a table without a reservation, so make sure you do before you go.

PICCOLO GRANDE(in Japanese, ピッコロ・グランデ)
Address: 3-7-2 Azabu Juban, Minato-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都港区麻布十番3-7-2)
Nearest train station: Tokyo Metro Azabu Juban (3 min walk)
Tel: 03-3457-0665
Reservations: Yes (must)
Website: http://www.piccolo-grande.co.jp/index.html (in Japanese only)
English menu: No, but in Italian
Credit Card: Yes
Open: 11:30am-2pm, 6pm-10:30pm
Closed: Tuesday
If Tuesday is a holiday, will be closed on Wednesday instead

Prices: Antipasto from 800-2,500 yen
Pizza from 2,000-3,000 yen
Pasta from 1,600-2,000 yen
Seafood from 2,000-3,500 yen
Meat from 2,600-5,000 yen
Lunch 3 course menus only from 2,800-3,800 yen

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ABASQUE (Shibuya)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 14.2012 French, Italian & Other Europian 0 comments 0 trackback
ABASQUE outside
Food from Basque has become popular around the world over the last couple of years. Mixture of French & Spanish food, which has attracted main tourists to visit for its food. One of the popular restaurants which provides Basque food is ABASQUE at Shibuya.

ABASQUE グージェール
Abasque's food is more on the French side than Spanish. GOUGERES (Cheese puffs) will be served before they bring your drinks.

ABASQUE ピエールオテイザ氏のキントア豚の生ハム
For starters or tapas, KINTOA BUTA NO NAMA HAM (Kintoa ham), is popular and most people order it

ABASQUE アンドゥイエットのソテーとジャガイモのランド風
ANDOUILLETTE NO SAUTE TOH JAGAIMO NO LANDOS FU (Sauteed pork sausage and Landos style roasted potato),

ABASQUE ずわい蟹のピキオ 赤ピーマンのソース
and ZUWAIGANI NO PICCHIO AKA PIIMAN SAUCE (Queen crab picchio with bell pepper sauce), is popular as well

ABASQUE 牛テールとフォアグラのテリーヌ
and if its available one my favorites is GYU TAIL TOH FOIR GRAS NO TERRINE (Oxtail and foie gras terrine) ,

ABASQUE タパス5種類盛り合わせ
and also TAPAS 5 SHURUI MORIAWASE (5 tapas of the day), which is not only available dinner, but for Sunday brunch as well.

ABASQUE バスク豚のロースト 人参のグラッセ添え
And for your main dish, BASQUE BUTA NO ROAST NINJIN NO GLACE ZOE (Roasted Basque pork with sauteed carrots) is my favorite,

ABASQUE パエリア イサキのポワレ
SENGYO NO POLER TOH GYOKAI PAELLA (Butter roasted fish of the day with seafood paella),

ABASQUE 鱈のピルピル 白いんげん添え
and TARA NO PIL-PIL SHIRO INGEN ZOE (Sauted cod with white kidney beans) and 4 other dishes are available as well.

ABASQUE バスク産ダークチェリーのガトーバスク
For desert, try BASQUE SAN DARK CHERRY NO GATEAU BASQUE (Basque style cake with dark cherries from Basque inside).

ABASQUE 本日のサラダ
Lunch & Sunday brunch is great value, which you might want to try first before eating for dinner and here are some dishes served. HOJITSU NO SALAD (Salad of the day),

ABASQUE 牛タンの赤ワイン煮込み バターライス添え
GYU TONGUE NO AKA WINE NICOMI BUTTER RICE ZOE (Beef tongue red wine stew with buttered rice),


ABASQUE 牛ハラミ肉のステーキ
GYU HARAMI NO STEAK (Beef skirt steak).

ABASQUE チョコブリュレ
If you choose a lunch course which comes with desert, CHOCO BRULEE (Chocolate brulee)

ABASQUE 温かいリンゴのタルト ヴァニラアイス添え
or ATATAKAI RINGO NO TART VANILLA ICE CREAM ZOE (Warm apple tart with vanilla ice cream) will be offered.

If you are going here for dinner the 1st time, I recommend to choose one of the course menus which is available for 4,935 and 6,300 yen. Their wine list doesn't have well known brands and is really focused on wine from the Basque area, so it is better to ask the sommelier for recommendations. The decor of Abasque is simple and the size of the restaurant is small to say the least. Some people say that its over priced simply because of the interior and not really for dates, but its still one of the best Basque restaurants in Tokyo, For your reference, Michelin did give Abasque, one star.


ABASQUE (in Japanese, アバスク)
Address: 2-12-11 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都渋谷区渋谷2-12-11)
Nearest train station: JR or Tokyo Metro Shibuya (10 min walk)
Tel: 03-5468-8908
Reservations: Yes (must)
Website: http://esdesign.biz/ (in Japanese only)
English menu: No, but in French
Credit Card: Yes
Open: Weekdays 11:30am-1:30pm, 8pm-11pm
Sundays & Holidays 12pm-2pm, 8pm-11pm
Closed: Every Monday and also Sunday once a month (undecided)

Prices: Lunch Course 1,260, 1,575, 2,100 or 3,675yen
Dinner Course 4,935 or 6,300 yen
Tapas 735-2,940 yen
Appetizers 1,575-3,150 yen
Entrees 2,520-3,990 yen
Deserts 630-840 yen

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Posted by Tokyo Joe on 02.2012 French, Italian & Other Europian 1 comments 0 trackback
シェ・トモ outside
Where would I recommend to dine in the middle of Ginza which has great food, view, service, atmosphere, affordable and also great value? At the top of a very short list that restaurant would be CHEZ TOMO.

シェ・トモ inside
Chez Tomo originally opened in Shirogane and has been popular ever since it opened. Prices were reasonable including their wine list, which not only attracted many foodies, but wine lovers as well.. When I first heard that they moved to a prime location in Ginza, I imagined that the prices would increase significantly, but when I saw prices on their website it was the same, which amazed me since rent must be at least double from their old location. But later on, I found out that Chef Ishikawa got an amazing deal from the buildings owner, who's wife was a regular at Chez Tomo. And now they even have a view to go with their great food and service.

シェ・トモ 豚のリエット オリーブとアンチョビ 無塩バター
You should order either 5,780 or 6,980 yen course menu. The difference is that 6,980 yen has one additional entree. Like most restaurants, first bread will be served with pork rillete, anchovy & olive paste, and unsalted butter.

シェ・トモ 生うにの貴婦人風  Oeufs brouilles aux oursins
Both courses will start with Chef Ichikawa's specialty, NAMAUNI NO KIFUJINFU (Fresh sea urchin grande dame style). It is very creamy and rich. A great amuse to start out your meal.

シェ・トモ カキとフォアグラのフラン
Then comes your 1st Hors-d'oeuvre, which you get to choose. What's available depends on the season and the following have been served in the past. KAKI TOH FOIR GRAS NO FLAN (Oyster and Foie Gras flan),

シェ・トモ かぼちゃのポタージュスープ
KABOCHA NO POTAGE (Pumpkin soup),

シェ・トモ タスマニア産サーモンのマリネと車海老の自家製スモーク サラダのカクテル仕立て 抹茶風味のゼリー添え
TASMANIA-SAN SALMON NO MARINE TOH KURUMAEBI NO JIKASEI SMOKE SALAD NO COCKTAIL JITATE MATCHA FUUMI NO ZELII ZOE (Marinated Tasmanian salmon & smoked prawn salad with green tea flavor jelly),

シェ・トモ フランス産 ウズラの冷製バロティーヌ 二層になった栗のムースとフォワグラのピューレ添え
FRANCE-SAN UZURA NO REISEI BALLOTTINE NISOUNI NATTA KURI NO MOUSSE TOH FOIE GRAS NO PURE ZOE (Cold ballottine of quail from France with chestnut mousse & Foie Gras pure),

シェ・トモ ブルゴーニュ産エスカルゴのソテー にんにく風味のパセリクリームとトマトフォンデュ
BOURGOGNE ESCARGOT NO SAUTE NINNIKU FUUMI NO PARSLEY CREAM TOH TOMATO FONDUE (Escargot from Brittney sauteed with garlic flavor parsley cream and tomato fondue),

シェ・トモ パートプリックをまとわせて焼き上げたフランス産ホワイトアスパラガス 2010年スタイル ブールブラン・ソース添え
PATE BRICK WO MATOWASETE YAKIAGETA FRANCE SAN WHITE ASPARAGUS 2010 NEN STYLE BLU BLANC SAUCE ZOE (Asparagus from France wrapped with pate brick 2010 style with Blu Blanc sauce),

シェ・トモ マーブル仕立てにプレスされたフォワグラ 冬枯椎茸 里芋 豚耳のテリーヌ プラムの赤ワインコンポート添え
and MARBLE JITATENI PRESS SARETA FOIE GRAS, FUYUKARESHIITAKE, SATOIMO, BUTA NO MIMI NO TERRINE PLUM NO AKAWINE COMPOTE ZOE (Foie Gras, winter shiitake mushrooms, taro, pigs ear terrine with plum & red wine compote).

シェ・トモ 山梨県産 無農薬野菜達 30種の盛り合わせ
Next is your 2nd Hors-d'oeuvre and another chef's special, MUNOUYAKU YASAI TACHI SANJYUSHU NO MORIAWASE (30 different organic vegetables). Some are marinated, some are just boiled, some are grilled. Its the simplicity what makes this dish special.

シェ・トモ ココットの中で煮込まれたプラチナ豚の大腸、直腸、胃の白ワイン風味 カーン風
For your main dish, there is COCOTTE NO NAKADE NIKOMARETA PURACHINA BUTA NO DAICHO, CHOKUCHO, I NO SHIRO WINE FUUMI CAEN-FUU (Caen style stew of platinum pork's tripe and intestine with white wine cooked in a cocotte),

シェ・トモ パイ生地で蓋をしてココットの中で焼き上げた森の茸とフランス産仔牛肉のプレゼ マディラ風味
PAIKIJI DE FUTAWOSHITE COCOTTE NO NAKADE YAKIAGETA MORI NO TAKE TOH FRANCE SAN KOUSHI NO PRESE MADEIRA FUUMI (Veal from France and mushrooms Madeira wine flavor covered and cooked in a pie),

シェ・トモ 地魚と蟹のガトー仕立て アボカドのムースリーヌとトマトのクーリ添え
JIZAKANA TOH KANI NO GATEAU JITATE AVOCADO NO MOUSSELINE TOH TOMATO NO COULIS (Fish of the day & crab gateau with avocado mousseline and tomato puree),

シェ・トモ 地魚のソテー ズッキーニの鱗仕立て サフラン風味のマリニエールソース
JIZAKANA NO SAUTE ZUCCHINI UROKO JITATE SAFRAN FUUMI NO MARINIER SAUCE (Sauteed fish of the day and scale carved zucchini with saffron flavored Marinier sauce),

シェ・トモ 野生鹿ロース肉のロースト ポワヴラードソース
and game dishes like YASEI SHIKA ROSU NIKU NO ROAST POIVRADE SAUCE (Roasted wild dear loin with poivrade sauce) are available when its game season. (fall to early winter)

シェ・トモ チーズワゴン
If you want you can order cheese before desert for an extra fee.

シェ・トモ ヴァローナ社のチョコレートを使ったアイスとケーキ
And for desert, they have dishes like VALRHONA SHA NO CHOCOLATE WO TUKATTA ICE TOH CAKE (Valrhona chocolate ice cream and cake),

シェ・トモ パインナップルのクレープシュゼット
PINEAPPLE NO CREPE SUZETTE (Pineapple crepe suzette),

シェ・トモ パンプディング&アイス
PAN PUDDING AND ICE (Bread pudding with vanilla ice cream),

シェ・トモ 桃のゼリーとソルベピーチチップス添え
and MOMO NO ZELII TOH SORBET PEACH CHIPS ZOE (Peach jelly and sherbet with dried peach chips).

シェ・トモ inside 11th floor
Value wise Chez Tomo is as good as it can get. There aren't too many other restaurants especially French that come par to Chez Tomo value wise. Because of their location, they could be charging at least 50% more. They have two floors you can dine at. First floor, more of a modern decor where most customers dine and second floor more classical decor used for parties. If you need a good French restaurant with a view, located in the heart of Ginza and great value, there is no better place than Chez Tomo.

シェ・トモ inside 12th floor

CHEZ TOMO (in Japanese, シェ・トモ)
Address: 1-7-7 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo (Pola Ginza Bldg 11th Floor)
(in Japanese, 東京都中央区銀座1-7-7 ポーラ銀座ビル 11F)
Nearest train station: Tokyo Metro Ginza (6 min walk)
Tel: 03-5524-8868
Reservations: Yes (must)
Website: http://www.chez-tomo.com/ginza_e/index.html
English menu: Yes
Credit Card: Yes
Open: 11:30am-2:30pm, 6pm-10pm
Closed: Monday
When Monday is a holiday, Monday for dinner & Tuesday all day will be closed

Prices: Lunch Course 2,890 or 5,000 yen
Dinner Course 5,780, 6,980 or 10,000 yen

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ICARO (Nakameguro)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 12.2012 French, Italian & Other Europian 0 comments 0 trackback
イカロ outside
There are more Southern Italian restaurants in Tokyo than Northern Italian, but my favorite restaurant in all of Tokyo for the last couple of years is an Northern Italian restaurant owned by Miyamoto brothers at Nakameguro called ICARO.

イカロ 宮本
Five years ago, I was watching a late night TV program about young chefs who wanted to open their own restaurant one day. These chefs would create one dish for five famous food critics and if all five of them said "It's delicious", the chef would win 10 million yen to be used to open his own restaurant. About 30 chefs challenged these critics, but only 2 won and chef Miyamoto was one of them.

イカロ パッパルデッレ 蝦夷鹿の煮込みソース
The dish he created was PAPPARDELLE EZOJIKA NIKOMI (Pappardelle with Ezo deer stew). I've never had pasta with deer stew/ragu, so this dish remained in my memory. 2 yrs later, a friend of mine who is a freelance food writer told me that a really good Northern Italian restaurant opened near his apartment and wanted to take me. We went that evening and when I opened the menu and saw Pappardelle Ezojika Nikomi, I asked the waiter if the chef was on that TV program. Of course, he was and after trying his creations, he got me hooked.

イカロ イワシのコンフィ 賀茂茄子・スカモルツァチーズ
Not only his pasta's were delicious, but his anti pasto as well. Here are some of them. IWASHI NO CONFIT AGE KAMONASU SCAMORZA CHEESE (Grilled Sardine with deep fried Kamo eggplant & Scamorza cheese),

イカロ 駿河湾 赤座エビとういきょう カラスミのサラダ
ASASA EBI UIKYO KARASUMI NO SALAD (Scampi salad with fennel & bottarga),

イカロ ポルチーニ茸のインパナート アイオリソース
PORCINI DAKE NO IMPANATO AIOLI SAUCE (Deep fried porcini mushrooms with aïoli sauce),

イカロ うなぎのマリネ
UNAGI NO MARINE (Marinated eel),

イカロ じゃがいもをまとった白子のソテー アラビアータソース
JYAGAIMO WO MATOTTA SHIRAKO NO SAUTE ALL'ARRABBIATA SAUCE (Sauteed Cod soft row rapped with shredded potato all'Arrabbiata sauce) ,

イカロ 熊本馬肉のタルタル 赤玉ネギのアグロドルチェ
KUMAMOTO BANIKU NO TARU TARU (Horse meat tartar steak),

イカロ イカロ風サラダ
and ICARO FU SALAD (Icaro style salad).

イカロ じゃがいものニョッキ ラグーソース
For primo piatto, dishes like JYAGAIMO NO GNOCCHI RAGU SAUCE (Potato gnocchi with ragu),

イカロ スパゲッティ- キタッラ スペック 玉ネギ ペコリーノチーズ黒胡椒
CHITARRA NO SPECK TAMANEGI PECORINO CHEESE KIRO KOSHO (Chitarra pasta with Speck ham, onions, Pecorino cheese & black pepper),

イカロ イタリア産グリーンピースのリゾット
ITALIA SAN NO GREEN PEAS RISOTTO (Risotto with green peas from Italy),

イカロ 絶品!トルテッリーニ・イン・ブロード
TORTELLINI IN BRODO (Tortellini in soup),

イカロ スパゲッティー イタリア産からすみのアーリオオーリオ
ITALIA SAN NO KARASUMI AGLIO OLIO SPAGHETTINI (Spaghettini in aglio olio sauce with bottarga),

イカロ ビーツのラビオリ けしの実の香り
BEETS NO RAVIOLI KESHI NO MI NO KAORI (Beets ravioli poppy seed flavor),

イカロ フレッシュポルチーニ茸のタリオリーニ
FRESH PORCINI DAKE NO TAGLIATELLE (Tagliatelle with fresh porcini mushroom),

イカロ 桜海老とドライトマトのパスタ
SAKURA EBI TOH DRY TOMATO NO PASTA (Pasta with Sakura shrimp & dry tomatoes),

イカロ 仔牛と鶏レバーのラビオリ サマートリュフ
and if you happen to be dining here during the summer, KOUSHI TOH TORI LIVER NO RAVIOLI SUMMER TRUFFLE (Veal and chicken liver paste ravioli with summer truffles) is a must.

イカロ チンタセネーゼ 肩ロースのグリル
Second piatto, dishes like CINTASENESE NO KATA ROSU GRILL (Broiled shoulder of Cintasenese pork),

イカロ トリッパのトマト煮
TRIPPA NO TOMATO NIKOMI (Tripe with tomato sauce),

イカロ ハンガリー産乳飲み仔羊のグリエ
HUNGARY SAN NO CHINOMI KOUSHI GRILL (Broiled veal from Hungary),

イカロ 牛ほほ肉の煮込み グーラッシュ
GYU HOHONIKU GULASCH (Beef cheek gulasch),

イカロ 山鳩のロースト
YAMABATO NO ROAST (Roasted turtledove),

イカロ 秋刀魚のコンフィとスカモルツァチーズのソテー
SANMA NO CONFIT TOH SCAMORZA CHEESE NO SAUTE (Pacific saury confit with sauteed Scamorza cheese),

イカロ 北海道北見産子羊のロースト瞬間燻製
KOHITSUJI NO ROAST SHUKAN KUNSEI (Roasted lamb instantly smoked),

イカロ 白金豚スペアリブとサルシッチャ 白インゲン豆のトマト煮
and HAKUKINTON SPARE RIB TOH SALSICCIA SHIRO INGEN MAME TOMATO NI (Hakukin pork spare rib & grilled Salsiccia sausage with white kidney beans in tomato sauce).

イカロ カタラーナ
Finally for dolce, they have CATALANA, APPLE STRUDEL and GELATO.

イカロ inside
Icaro has counter seats and even though its a fairly new restaurant the interior is simple and normal. It may not be a place for a romantic date, but their food and service is exceptional. Chef Miyamoto enjoys using wild game and is one of the few young Italian chef's who does. They have a good selection of wine, which is offered at a very reasonable price. Just double the price of retail, when most other restaurants charge at least triple. If you love wine and Northern Italian food for a reasonable price, Icaro is as good as it gets. Its a 1 star restaurant on Michelin guide, for those of you who trust it.

イカロ menu

ICARO (in Japanese, イカロ)
Address: 2-44-24 Kamimeguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo (COMS Nakameguro 4th Floor)
(in Japanese, 東京都目黒区上目黒2-44-24 COMS中目黒 4F)
Nearest train station: Tokyo Metro or Tokyu Toyoko Hibiya (7 min walk)
Tel: 03-5724-8085
Reservations: Yes (must)
Website: http://www.icaro-miyamoto.com/ (in Japanese only)
English menu: No, but in Italian
Credit Card: Yes
Open: Monday-Friday 6pm-11pm, Saturday & Holiday 5:30pm-10pm
Closed: Sunday

Prices: Antipasto 1,600-3,000 yen
Primo Piatto 1,600-3,000 yen
Second Piatto 2,800- 4,500 yen
Dolce 700 yen

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CHEZ INNO (Kyobashi)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 16.2011 French, Italian & Other Europian 1 comments 0 trackback
シェ・イノ outside
In my opinion Michelin's Tokyo restaurant guide is a joke and most of my friends who enjoy eating everything and willing to spend whatever it costs for a great meal will all agree with me. The reason is because most Michelin investigators are 2nd class food journalists, who are connected to the worst and most famous food critic in Japan. Many of the restaurants listed aren't worth a single star and also many restaurants which deserve a star aren't included in the guide as well. The best classic French restaurant in Japan doesn't even have a star, which is CHEZ INNO at Kyobashi. In my opinion, there are only two French restaurants in Tokyo which deserve to be 3 star restaurants. One is the L'osier, which is currently closed until 2014 since they are rebuilding their building and the other one is Chez Inno.

シェ・イノ ウメイロのポワレ
Owner/Chef Noboru Inoue worked at various restaurants in Europe during his 20's. He worked at the world famous Troisgros in Roanne and also Maxim's in Paris. He came back to Japan to become chef of Ginza L'ecrin and then opened Chez Inno in 1984. His creations are classical French, not modern or light, but heavy with sauce. If you really want to have a special dinner at Chez Inno, instead of choosing one of the course menus, I strongly recommend to choose from a la carte menu.

シェ・イノ 仔羊のパイ包み焼き マリアカラス
Chef Inoue's most famous creation and specialite is Noisette d'agneau en eroute "Maria Callas" (Lamb Pie Maria Callas Style). Maria Callas, the late great opera singer was a regular at Maxim's in Paris when Inoue was working there and he was inspired by her to create this dish. It has Foie Gras in the middle and truffle sauce just matches perfectly. It's one of my favorite main dishes of all French restaurants I've been to even though I'm not crazy about lamb. And if it's your first time at Chez Inno, you must try it.

シェ・イノ オマール海老のガトー仕立て
For Hors d'oeuvres, Gateau de homard "Cote d'or" (Lobster & Vegetable Gateau) is one of my favorites

シェ・イノ タラバガニとアヴォガドのスープ仕立て キャビアのせ
Crabes en gelee au caviar (King Crab, Avocado & Caviar in a soup) is fantastic,

シェ・イノ フォアグラのティエド キャベツ包み
as well as Foie Gras aux Choux (Foie Gras wrapped in Cabbage),

シェ・イノ テリーヌ盛合せ(鴨ノテリーヌと帆立のムースのテリーヌ)
and their daily Terrine is another favorite of mine.

シェ・イノ 牛喉肉のサラダ
They have several salads like Salad with Beef Port Neck,

シェ・イノ 魚介類のサラダ
and Salad with various seafood.

シェ・イノ すっぽんのスープ
If you wanna some soup, try Soupe de Tortue (Chinese soft shell turtle soup),

シェ・イノ フルーツトマトのガスパチョ
Fruit Tomato Gaspacho,

シェ・イノ 栗のポタージュ
or Soupe Du Jour (Soup of the Day), like the above which is Chestnut Potage.

シェ・イノ アイナメとウニのグラタン アメリケーヌソース
If you are having poisson (fish), Ainame et oursins gratines (Rock trout in sea urchin sauce)

シェ・イノ スズキのバジリコ風味
or Escalope de bar au basilic (Seabass in basil flavor) are my favorites.

シェ・イノ メイン仔羊のロースト
If you're not having Noisette d'agneau en eroute "Maria Callas" (Lamb Pie Maria Callas Style) another good dish is Carre d'agneau noti a la Dijonnaise (Roast lamb Dijon style).

シェ・イノ シェ・イノ フロマージュ wagon
And when you are done with your main dish, one of the waiters will bring the cheese wagon.

シェ・イノ フロマージュ
It would be a sin not to have cheese at any top french restaurant.

シェ・イノ デザートはワゴンか
Also, you can't skip dessert as well.

シェ・イノ デザートはワゴン
You want to choose several cakes in small portions.

シェ・イノ inside 1
If you want to choose the course menu go with Menu C, which is the most expensive one at 21,000 yen, but the only one which includes Chef Inoue's specialite Noisette d'agneau en eroute "Maria Callas". They have a fantastic wine selection with an experienced sommelier. So if it's a special occasion or you are on a date to impress a person, I strongly recommend choosing Chez Inno.

シェ・イノ inside 2

CHEZ INNO (in Japanese, シェ・イノ)
Address: 2-4-16 Kyobashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都中央区京橋2-4-16 明治製菓本社ビル 1F)
Nearest train station: Tokyo Metro Kyobashi (30 sec walk) or
Toei Subway Takaramachi (5 min walk)
Tel: 03-3274-2020
Reservations: Yes (must, a couple of weeks in advance)
Website: http://www.chezinno.jp/restaurant/inno_index.html (in Japanese only)
English menu: None (but in French)
Credit Card: Yes
Open: Monday-Saturday 11:30am-2pm, 6pm-9pm
Closed: Sunday

Prices: Hors d'oeuvres 3,990-5,670 yen
Salad 1,890-3,150 yen
Soup 2,520-3,780 yen
Main 4,410-10,500 yen

Lunch Course 3,780-11,550 yen
Dinner Course 13,650-21,000 yen

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L’AMITIE (Takadanobaba)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 22.2011 French, Italian & Other Europian 0 comments 0 trackback
L’AMITIE outside 1
There are many French bistro's now in Tokyo and one my favorites is L’AMITIE in Takadanobaba. L'amitie offers a course menu for both lunch and dinner. Lunch its 1,200 yen and dinner 2,700 yen. For lunch, usually 5 choices of entrées, 6 choices of main dishes and dinner is usually double of lunch.

Entrées like Quiche Lorraine,

グリーンアスパラガスとホワイトアスパラガスのサラダ 粒マスタードソース
Green Salad & White Asparagus with whole-grain mustard dressing,

Assorted Ham with Rillette,

エスカルゴとマッシュルーム、ベーコンのオーブン焼き ブルゴーニュ風
Burgundy-style Escargot with Bacon & Mushrooms,

Terrine of the day,

Chicken White Liver Mousse are on the menu most of the time.

フランス産バルバリー 鴨のコンフィー
Popular main dishes are Duck Confit,

Wagyu Tartar Steak,

Burgundy-style Chou Farci (rolled cabbage),

Beef Bourginion (red wine beef stew),

Baked ground beef, mashed potato with Gruyère cheese,

L’AMITIE steak
and Steak is available, too.

For an addtional 525 yen, you can order desserts like Tart of the day,

desert desert
or various ice creams as well.

L’AMITIE inside
I can't think of another bistro which offers large portions and quality food this cheap in Tokyo. Of course, there are other bistro's using the best ingredients available, but these bistro's will be charging double or triple of L'amitie, so if that's what you are looking for L'amitie is not for you. Its also not a fancy bistro, decor is very simple and probably not a place for dates or special occations, but if you want to eat casual affordable bistro food consider L'amitie. Only problem is that you have to make reservations weeks in advance (recently 6-8 weeks).

L’AMITIE (in Japanese, ラミティエ)
Address: 2-9-1 Takadanobaba, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都新宿区高田馬場2-9-1)
Nearest train station: JR & Tokyo Metro Takadanobaba (5 min walk)
Tel: 03-5272-5010
Reservations: Yes (must)
Website: http://www.zooom.jp/selection/detail.do?id=426(in Japanese only)
English menu: No, but in French
Credit Card: No
Open: 12pm-1:30pm, 6pm-10pm
Closed: Monday & 2nd Tuesday of the month

Prices: Lunch course 1,200 yen
Dinner course 2,700 yen
Desert 525 yen

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Posted by Tokyo Joe on 27.2011 French, Italian & Other Europian 0 comments 0 trackback
elio outside
There are many Italian restaurants in Tokyo now and many are very good. My friend's from Italy always say that Japan has the best Italian restaurants next to Italy and I have to agree with them after visiting many other countries. If you want to eat real Southern Italian (Calabrian dishes) food in Tokyo, ELIO LOCANDA ITALIANA in Kojimachi is probably one of the best. The restaurant is furnished in typical Italian style, nothing fancy, but owner Elio and his staff makes sure that customers are given top service. Its also popular to Italian's living here, and I have recommended this restaurant to my Italian business friends, who wanted to have Southern Italian food when they are here in Tokyo.

elio 自家製サルシッチャとブロッコリーの手打ちタリアテッレ
You could order from the grand menu, but it could get expensive. I would recommend to order one of the course menus and if there is anything among specials or from the grand menu you want to order, ask them to change it with one of the dishes in your course. But do note that they will charge the difference of the dishes.

elio assorted appitizers
Course menu is between 5,500 yen to 10,000 yen. I usually have the 6,500 yen course, which comes selection of five appetizers,

elio 2 pastas
two kinds of homemade pasta

elio parmigiano rissoto
and risotto

elio suzuki pesto
grilled fish of the day,

elio 仔羊のつめもののロースト
chef's recommended meat dish,

elio desert wagon
assorted desserts, coffee or tea.

elio 和牛のタリアータ バルサミコ風味
If you want to skip the course menu, and order from the grand menu or specials, do ask Elio or his staff what they really recommend. They will always be honest and try to do their best so you will want to come back for another visit.

elio 魚介のソースを使った自家製キタッラ
The only negative is that their wine & spumante list is over priced and if you don't watch what you drink your bill could get really expensive. There were several occasions when the cost of food was less than 10,000 yen per person, but drinks were double of the food. As long as you watch on how you drink, you will have a great lunch/dinner at Elio Locanda Italiana.

elio inside

ELIO LOCANDA ITALIANA (in Japanese, エリオ・ロカンダ・イタリアーナ)
Address: 2-5-2 Kojimachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都千代田区麹町2-5-2)
Nearest train station: Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line Hanzomon (1 min walk) and
Yurakucho Line Kojimachi (5 min walk)
Tel: 03-3239-6771
Reservations: Yes
Website: http://www.elio.co.jp/en/restaurant/
English menu: Yes
Credit Card: Yes
Open: 11:45am-2:15, 5:45pm-10:15pm
Closed: Sunday & Holidays

Prices: Lunch Course Menu from 1,600-3,800 yen
Dinner Course Menu from 5,500-10,000 yen

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OGINO (Ikejiri-Ohashi)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 11.2011 French, Italian & Other Europian 1 comments 0 trackback
ogino outside2
What's the most popular western cuisine in Japan? The answer is pretty simple. French. There are over 300 French restaurants in Tokyo and just as many Italian restaurants as well, but not 25 years ago. Majority of the western restaurants were French. Most of the chef's have worked/trained at top restaurants in France at some point of their career and would come back to Japan usually working for one of the established restaurants as Chef and eventually opening their own restaurant. Owner/Chef of OGINO, Shinya Ogino also worked/trained in France, came back to Tokyo working for several French restaurants before opening his own restaurant. And by word of mouth, it has become one of the most popular French restaurants in Tokyo.

The reason of Ogino's popularity is because of its cost performance. For dinner, they offer a course menu of 4,500 yen and 6,500 yen. The biggest difference with Ogino's course menu is that you can order whatever you want from the menu. There are usually 10 choices of entrées, 6 choices of soups/salads, and at least 10 choices of main dishes. The menu changes by month, so many of the items you might see here won't be available when you dine at Ogino. But one of the items always available among entrées is Pâté de Campagne.

It will be brought out in casserole and you can have as much as you want, but don't take all of it though.

ogino季節野菜のテリーヌ 帆立貝のタルタル添え
Other popular entrées are Terrine, like Season Vegetables & Scallop Terrine

ogino 山形産仔牛とフランス産トランペット茸のテリーヌ 水ナス添え
or Veal & Trumpet Mushroom Terrine, but varieties of terrine's will change by the month as well.

oginoズワイガニとジャガイモのガレット トリュフ風味
Also, dishes like Crab, Potato & Truffle Galette were memorable.

ogino soupe de poisson
Traditional dishes like Soupe de Poisson, and Onion Gratin Soup is also available.

Since Chef Ogino specializes in meat dishes, I would recommend to order a meat dish if you were having 4,500 yen course menu. (4,500 yen is with only one main dish, but 6,500 yen is with two) If they have Challand Duck from France, I would strongly recommend to order it since very few restaurants in Japan can get a hold of it. As far as I know, only 5 can in Japan, but the others are all expensive Michelin 3 star restaurants. A dish I had was Roasted Challand Duck with Honey Vinegar Sauce.

ogino岩中豚のソテー マデラソース
Other dishes which I enjoyed are Roasted Basque Pork with Madére Sauce,

ogino 北海道産 夏鹿のパイ包み焼き 黒コショウソース
and if its Gibier (game) season, they might have dishes like Deer & Foie Gras Pie with Black Pepper Sauce.

ogino cheese
Cheese is not included in the course menu and is extra. Quality of cheese may not be equal to a 3 star grande maison restaurant, but its enjoyable for its price. Wine list is some what limited, but prices are reasonable and kept in good condition.

ogino inside2
To say the least, there aren't too many restaurants in Tokyo, which offer the same quality of food for Ogino's price range. It's a very small restaurant with only 20 seats, and interior is very simple, so it may not be a place for anniversaries or special occasions.

ogino inside1
It wasn't difficult to get a table for the first 2 years after they opened, but not anymore. Its one of the most difficult restaurants to get a table now. They take reservations for 2 months in advance and tables will be gone that day. There is no dress code, you can be as casual as you want, but their service and food isn't casual at all.

OGINO (in Japanese, オギノ)
Address: 2-20-9 Ikrjiri, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都世田谷区池尻2-20-9)
Nearest train station: Tokyu Ikeji-Ohashi (5 min walk)
Tel: 03-5481-1333
Reservations: Yes, without one you won't get a table
Website: hhttp://french-ogino.com/ (in Japanese only)
English menu: No, but in French
Credit Card: Dinner only, not for lunch
Open: Tuesday-Saturday 5:30pm-11:30pm, Saturday, Sunday & Holidays 11:30am-1:30pm
Sunday & Holidays 5:30pm-9:30pm
Closed: Monday

Prices: Lunch Course Menu 2,500 yen & 4,000 yen
Dinner Course Menu 4,500 yen & 6,000 yen
All dishes are under 2,500 yen

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