December 5, 2009: Tokyo Travel Day #11 – Miravile, Ristorante Aso, Avoiding the Anal Colica.
So while I was uploading blog pics last night, I received an email from my friend Akemi asking me if it would be alright if she dropped by in the morning. I told her sure. Well, this morning, at around 10:45 a.m., there was a knock at the door. It was Akemi – and she came bearing more gifts. Last night at dinner, I had mentioned my chocolate party and how I would have loved to include a Japanese representative in the mix. The one that came to mind was Madame Setsuko. This surprised her because, apparently, Madame Setsuko is based in Akemi’s hometown. So, this morning, she dropped by one of the shops and picked me up a couple of beautiful assortments…
Very sweet of her.
For lunch on this day, I was scheduled to meet Jessica and Stefan at Miravile in Komaba. It was a bit of a haul, almost a half an hour by taxi. I wore my coat on the advice of someone at the hotel but, by the time I got there, the clouds had disappeared and the sun had come out. I arrived to find Stefan seated outside the front of the restaurant, eyes closed, soaking up the rays. “Yeah,”I quipped. “I think your top is nice and toasty. You might want to flip over and do the other side.”
As it turned out, Stefan had come bearing gifts as well – a bar of 70% Maracaibo Bitter dark chocolate from Takashimaya. Aw shucks. And it wasn’t even my birthday. Actually, it was Stefan’s birthday. No kidding.
Jessica arrived and we headed inside to celebrate with the Miravile prix fix lunch which gets you a multi-course lunch for 3900 yen, by far the least expensive meal I’ve had on this trip. And pretty damn good one.
The entire restaurant seats maybe 25. If you're going to go - you'll be hardpressed to find a better deal - call ahead.
Lunch was a blast. Stefan and Jessica chatted away almost non-stop between the point we sat down to the moment we left the place, covering everything from the Ivy League to cheese sales to dining on grouse in most barbaric fashion. Meanwhile, our meal was comprised of…
After lunch, we took a long stroll back to Shibuya…
No idea what the hell these were. I figure maybe they erect these tall blocks, then hollow them out and put in apartments. Not much of a view, but certainly cozy.
For dinner, I met up with Maro and we headed over to Ebisu to one of the city’s most talked-up Italian eateries: Ristorante Aso. The restaurant itself is a somewhat befuddling mix of casual cafe setting (up front), sophisticated dining rooms (upstairs), wedding hall chic (main floor), and garden area. We were seated upstairs in the dining room…
…where we were presented with a drink list, our dinner menu, and some eight different breads (rosemary, walnut, chestnut, tomato to name a few) and three kinds of whipped butter (regular, olive oil, and smoky).
Yeah, the Anal Colica. What exactly goes into one of those? Oh, never mind. I'll just go with the beer.
On to the meal…
On the other hand, this one I loved: Foie gras canelloni. Reminds me of a dish I made way back when, a foie-grass stuffed pasta with black truffle cream that Marty G. dubbed “meat candy”. Aso’s version was much, much better however.
We were then served some sort of pre-dessert that was a cross between a foam and a sorbet. Neither of us were enamored of it.
I’m in the home stretch. Only four and half more days and I’m Vancouver-bound. That’s still 9 more meals. Given this wonderful two week experience, I think that on my next trip, I’ll limit the high-end dining to dinners and leave the lunches open to hole-in-the-wall restaurants and those off-the-wall eateries that serve up grilled chicken spleen. In fact, I’m thinking of swapping out my last high-end sushi lunch for something a little more casual, maybe yakitori or shabu shabu, something a little more fun for a group outing.
Hey, what’s happening where you are? Are the Saints still undefeated? Are the Democrats still in the White House? Is Tiger Woods still the poster child for low-key, scandal-free athletes? What have I been missing?