Italian Gastronomy: Hot Appetizers at Soloio in Shizuoka City!

Service: Pro and very friendly
Equipment & Facilities: Great overall cleanliness and superb washroom
Prices: Reasonable
Strong points: Fresh local ingredients whenever possible. Both traditional and inventive Italian cuisine. Good wine list at moderate prices. Open late!

Great Italian cuisine is a hit here in Japan due to the abundant supply of vegetables, especially in Shizuoka Prefecture which boasts the largest number of varieties in Japan.
But come winter, customers are expecting to start their gastronomic escapade with something light, healthy and hot!
Chef Takehiko Katoh/加藤武彦 knows that too well and always has a seasonal appetizers menu on hand!

Even if you are an expat the title of the dish will give you a good indication of what to expect!
As for the Japanese customers (and expats who can read it) the abundant explanations are a real bonus!
I’ve had the pleasure recently to sample three of them:

Polenta e Gorgonzola, an appetizer popular in North Italy!

This polenta is white polenta made with corn flour and lighter than the more common yellow polenta found in many Mediterranean countries.

The hot combination of corn and blue cheese Gorgonzola with the raw ham results in an explosion of flavors inside the palate!

As you can see the polenta is very soft and easy on the palate.
Sommelier Mieko Ozawa/小澤美恵子 recommends a solid white wine to accompany it!

The second one had no special Italian name and was called “Various vegetables from Mr. Kato’s (the Chef!) garden cooked and baked in a Nanbu Tekki (from Iwate Prefecture) wrought iron skillet”!

Cooked only with olive oil, salt and pepper (there might be a supplementary secret…), the shape, color and taste of the vegetables are beautifully preserved in spite of the intense heat!
Let me show you more detailed photos!

Red carrot, red daikon, leeks…

Sato imo/taro! The skin was so fresh and crispy that I ate the whole of them!

Garlic, turnip, leek, broccoli…

The third appetizer was Ribollita.
You could describe it as a fine vegetable stew!

Really appetizing Toscanan dish by a cold winter night!
The toasted home-baked bread is the attention to details of a worthy Chef!

All these finely cut vegetables including Romanesco cauliflower and tubers contribute to a sophisticated dish of its own!

What’s next?
A symphony of risotto!

SOLOIO
420-0858 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tenmacho, 9-7, Kita, 1
Tel./fax: 054-260-4637
Business hours: 16:00~24:00
Closed on Monday
Credit cards OK
Private parties welcome!
Smoking allowed BUT Non-smoking until 20:00 everyday!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

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