Service: Very friendly and attentive
Equipment: Great general cleanliness
Prices: reasonable
Strong points: Great appetizers. Mainly local vegetables. Good wine list.
Non smoking at lunch time!

Chef Hidetake Suzuki/鈴木秀武 has his own “secret” source of vegetables in his own home-town, Fujieda City, about 20 minutes away by train from Shizuoka City.
When I say “secret”, it is actually more or less true as the farmer who grows these Italian/French vegetables do it on the chef’s request.
Although the two of us will visit that particular garden very soon, I am not allowed to divulge the name or its address!

Regular customers or friends at such an establishment do not need to look through a menu. A quiet word to the waitress (“please ask the chef to prepare a small antipasto misti for a start”) and a succulent array of appetizers will quickly materialize!

The artichoke also comes from that “secret” garden in Fujieda City!

Beautiful Ameera Tomatoes (and other vegetables) from Shizuoka Prefecture!

But I came for this: fresh fennel grown in the “secret” garden!

Fennel gratin!
It was on the specialty of the day menu last week and although it had disappeared I knew there was still some of the vegetable in the fridge!

Incidentally, when I was a kid there were a lot of leafy vegetables I wouldn’t eat including fennel.
My departed Mum must be screaming at me from where she is seeing me having developed a craving for them!

A very light bechamel sauce emphasized the natural taste of the fennel.
As it was hot I did take my time to savor it! LOL

In France we usually boil or steam the fennel beforehand or even fry it to soften it first, but it becomes a totally different dish.
This gratin with its fennel just cooked enough to enjoy its true taste is not only delicious but also so healthy!

What will the chef come up with next time…

Osteria Porta Porta
420-0839 Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Takajyo, 2-13-11, Topia Takajyo, 103
Tel./fax: 054-266-7320
Business hours: 11:30~14:00, 17:30^22:00
Closed on Wednesdays
Credit cards OK from July

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