Tag Archives: イタリアレストラン

Italian Restaurant: Lunch at Il Castagno (’10/02/28)

Service: Excellent and very friendly
Facilities: clean
Prices: reasonable
Specialty: Central and south Italian-style cuisine. Home-made pasta. Very reasonables prices
no-smoking-logoentirely non-smoking!

I’ve heard that some countries are suffering from unusually unclement weather (snow drifts in the US and floods in Western Europe), and here we are assailed by sudden chages in temperatures going as far 13 degrees Celsius within 24 hours.
Last Sunday was not a day for sport and I decided to do some work at the office as the Missus is away working for an orthondontist (Sunday is the busiest day).
As usual I felt ravnous at lunch time and decided to have some proper food at neighbouring Il Castagno, a very reasonable and extremely popular Italian restaurant.

They have eminently drinkable wines at very reasonable prices, and I always end up drinking a couple of glasses in spite of the early hour (that is for drinking!).

A bit strange picture as you can see my fist holding the glass in side the glass!
Wine: Chianti, Villa Puccini Riserva, 2004. Grapes: Sangiovese+Cabernet Sauvignon+Canaiolle.
Solid and and pleasant Chianti

I opted for the full lunch set menu.
The antipasti misto consisted of Carrots, large white beans and red onions salad, Squid ink Crostini, Quiche (bacon, onion, potato and cabbage), home-made smoked salmon and pickled lotus root. A very global dish!

now, the pasta dish was worth the visit for itself!
Il Castagno serves exclusively home-made fresh pasta, a luxury in Jpaan!
These particular pasta were tagliatelle (comparatively narrow) in Gorgonzola and Radicchio (a variety of Trevise) Cream sauce. Perfectly balanced and the right quantity. As for the taste, I start to understand why so many local expats have started patronizing the place!

The dessert plate consisted of blanc mange, Apricot Cheese Cake (another specialty expats are running for!), strawberries and Neburu Orange (popular Japanese variety) Sherbet/Sorbet.

Coffee and home-made Italian mignardises!

IL CASTAGNO
420-0843 Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Tomoe Cho, 48 (along Kitakaido Street)
Tel. & Fax: 054-247-0709
Business hours: 11:45~14:00, 17:30~21:00
Closed on Mondays and second Tuesdays
Lunch: 1,260 and 1,860 yen
Dinner: 4,000 and 5,000 yen
A la Carte menu and wine list available. Wine by the glass ok
Reservations recommended.
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

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Italian Restaurant: Dinner at Il Paladino

Service: Excellent and very friendly
Facilities: great and very large washroom, great cleanliness overall
Prices: reasonable to expensive.
Specialty:Sicilian Cuisine. Top-class Italian wines and great collection of Grappa.
no-smoking-logo1 Non-smoking at tables.

It had quite some time since I last had a full dinner in an Italian restaurant in Shizuoka City as I tend to visit them only for a quick fis in between work.
I finally had the chance to enjoy a full-course dinner the other day at Il Paladino as an end-of the year dinner with friends.

Il Paladino’s two chefs prepare Italian cuisine mainly of Sicilian inspiration.
As I was the man in charge of the menu, I had just met them a while before to agree on the number and dishes and their basics. After it was all up to their skills and seasonal avaibility!

Antipasti misto plate for 4

The restaurant being very busy that day, I took charge of serving portions to the four of us into each of our plates (Japanese guests practically never do that, especially men!).
The antipasti, among others, included Japanese rock seaweed fritters, Pesce manticato/Brandade, marinated mackerel and grilled vegetables.

The fish dish was isaki, a fish caught off the Izu Peninsula in eastern Shizuoka Prefecture. It bears the odd English name of “Chicken Grunt”!

Dividing and serving the fish into 4 portions turned into a performance!

One of us belonging to a famous strawberry-growing family (there are 1,500 registered strawberry growers in Shizuoka Prefecture alone!),the chef had come up with a bright idea: Flaglora Risotto/strawberry risotto with fine Piemonte truffles seasoning, parmegiano and supreme olive oil!
A discovery and beauty!

Grilled Lamb for the meat dish!

Hard work again for your servant!

The ladies had to have a pasta dish!

Funghi e salzizia with Buccoli Pasta!
Light and perfect!
Note: the fact it was served individually made the waistline-conscious ladies a bit more secure! LOL

For dessert the specialty of the house: Home-made (completely) vanilla ice-cream with grappa and caramelized almonds and hazlenuts!

As for the wine, read the repport I posted yesterday below!

A somewhat unusual Italian white wine!

Don’t expect to find this wine on their “official” menu!
You must ask for the owners of the place to look what they have stashed away/hidden in the cellar at the very back of the restaurant!

Name: Alois Lageder (Italian White Wine)
Place: Sud Tirol, Alto Adige
Grape: Pinot Griggio (Pinot Gris)
Bottled in 2008.

Clarity: very clear
Colour: Light golden
Aroma: Fruity amd light. Lots of muscat and green apples
Taste: Very light, almost feminine attack.
Dry and fruity with muscat and green apples faithful to its aroma.
Very pleasant and easy to drink, especially a little chilled.
Very fine bubbles disappearing quickly.
Shortish tail.
Holds its own well with food in spite of its light weight.

Overall: An unusual wine, very similar to an Alsace of the same grape.
Very pleasant and light. Woth drinking with antipasti misto and fish.
Will prove a great experience for young beginners!

Tratorria . Il Paladino
420-9839 Shizuoka City, Aoi-Ku, Takajo, 2-8-19
Tel.: 054-253-6537
Opening hours: 11:30~13:30, 17:00~22:00
Closed on Mondays
Credit cards OK (Dinner only)


The Japan Blog List

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Bread + Butter, Comestilblog, Greedy Girl, Bouchon For 2, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Mangantayon, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles, Lexi, Culinary Musings, Eats and Everything, Bite Me New England, Heather Sweet, 5 Star Foodie, Frank Fariello, Oyster Culture, Ramendo, Alchemist Chef, Ochikeron, Mrs. Lavendula, The Gipsy Chef, Spirited Miu Flavor
Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery
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Wine Tasting Shizuoka 4: Alois Lageder (Italy-Sud Tirol), Pinot Griggio

Last week i had the occasion to taste a somewhat unusual Italian wine at one of my favourite Italian restaurants in Shizuoka City, namely Trattoria Il Paladino. As for the great meal we had a report is coming soon!
But first the wine!

Don’t expect to find this wine on their “official” menu!
You must ask for the owners of the place to look what they have stashed away/hidden in the cellar at the very back of the restaurant!

Name: Alois Lageder (Italian White Wine)
Place: Sud Tirol, Alto Adige
Grape: Pinot Griggio (Pinot Gris)
Bottled in 2008.

Clarity: very clear
Colour: Light golden
Aroma: Fruity amd light. Lots of muscat and green apples
Taste: Very light, almost feminine attack.
Dry and fruity with muscat and green apples faithful to its aroma.
Very pleasant and easy to drink, especially a little chilled.
Very fine bubbles disappearing quickly.
Shortish tail.
Holds its own well with food in spite of its light weight.

Overall: An unusual wine, very similar to an Alsace of the same grape.
Very pleasant and light. Woth drinking with antipasti misto and fish.
Will prove a great experience for young beginners!

Tratorria . Il Paladino
420-9839 Shizuoka City, Aoi-Ku, Takajo, 2-8-19
Tel.: 054-253-6537
Opening hours: 11:30~13:30, 17:00~22:00
Closed on Mondays
Credit cards OK (Dinner only)


The Japan Blog List

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Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery
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sake, shochu and sushi

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Italian Restaurant: Lunch at Il Paladino

PALADINO-3

Service: Excellent and very friendly
Facilities: great and very large washroom, great cleanliness overall
Prices: reasonable to expensive.
Specialty:Sicilian Cuisine. Top-class Italian wines and great collection of Grappa.
Non-smoking at tables.

The Autumn days are definitely getting shorter but we still enjoy plenty of warm fine weather making ideal for lunches taken on a terrace!
Although Il paladino’s Terrace is a bit small I would never exchange it for a seat inside!
Though I must say there is always a good chance for its seats to be available as the Japanese haven’t caught onthe habit of eating outside yet!

PALADINO-1

Il Paladino offers great lunch courses for a bargain.
Since their ingredients are seasonal only, there is little chance for a repeat menu.
The Missus and I visited them the other Thursday, a rare day when we can go out together.
Mylady had the antipasti misto of the day, including agreat little quiche!

PALADINO-2

As for me I started with a salad of vegetables rown locally. Very well chosen, they would please any vegan or vegetarian friend!

PALADINO-4

The Missus, being a pasta fanatic, couldn’t resist the spaghetti of the day with calamari squid, mushrooms, greens and parmegiano.

PALDINO-5

Veg and pasta are fine, but I needed something more solid.
I chose the grilled marlin with a parmegiano cream sauce.
Plentiful, very tasty and going so well with the home-made fogaccia bread (see pic ath top of this posting)!

Looking forward to our next dinner there!

Tratorria . Il Paladino
420-9839 Shizuoka City, Aoi-Ku, Takajo, 2-8-19
Tel.: 054-253-6537
Opening hours: 11:30~13:30, 17:00~22:00
Closed on Mondays
Credit cards OK (Dinner only)

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow
Wild River Review
Bread + Butter
5 Star Foodie
Frank Fariello
Mangantayon
Hapabento
Elinluv Tidbit Corner
Think Twice

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Italian Restaurant: Aquavite (revisited)

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Last night, I finally had the pleasure the visit again one of the “best three Italian Restaurants” in Shizuoka City and Prefecture: Aquavite.
As I was sharing the company of two old friends, Marcus and Yumiko, we were no less than three Foodbuzz Foodies from Shizuoka City to make sure that compliments thrown by Rowena and Jen were amply hustified by a more appropriate tasting report of the wines of the day!
I had the honour th o choose the first bottle (see pic above. Sorry, the pics are not great, the light being too dimmed!):

2002 BOLGHERI by Podore Guado al Mela i Castagneto Cardocci in Toscana.
Red made with Merlot, Cabernet-Sauvignon and Sangiovese grapes.

Colour: Rich dark red/Garnet

Aroma: Floral/red roses, deep, really full

Taste: Strong attack. Not open yet. Tannic and still young.
Red fruits/cassis. Hints of chocolate later.
Loses its tannin quickly though and turns gentler with time.

Overall: Very positive wine. Takes time to develop, but worth waiting.

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The first hors d’oeuvre was oyster from Iwate Prefecture.

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Antipasto Misto.

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I forgot to take a pic during the very busy conversation of the moment: Hokkaido Spider Crab Safran Risotto including the “brains” of the Crab.
Followed by Gorgonzola Cheese Cream Gnocchi.

aqua-11-5

Marcus chose the next bottle:
2004 San Pio by Mastroianni in Sienna, Toscana.
Red made from Cabernet (80%) and Sangiovese (20%) grapes

Colour: Rich deep red

Aroma: Hearty, young, Terroir. Red fruits: strawberries and cherries.

Taste: Smooth. Little or no tannin. Fruity: red fruits.
Soft attack, pleasant.
Tends to come back later with more strength.

Overall: Solid pleasant wine perfectly suited to food.

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“Kajiki/Marlin” prepared in “Katsu/Deep-fried cutlet” fashion.
Once again I lost the picture of the sauteed fresh Porcini Mushroom and during the very serious wine tasting view exchange! I’ll ask Yumiko if she has got them!

aqua-11-71

Dessert: La France pears tart on a bed of fresh cream and custard with chocolate, cranberry and mint sauce!

Address: 420-0034 Shizuoka Shi, Tokiwa-cho, 1-2-7, Tomii Bldg. 3F
Tel. & fax: 054-2740777
Opening hours: 11:30~14:00 (on reservations only), 18:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays
Homepage (Japanese)
Credit Cards OK

Italian Restaurant: Via Del Borgo (revisited)


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burgo-2008-11-1

Last week, I thought it was about grand time to pay a visit to one of the best three (in my biased view) Italian Restaurants in Shizuoka: Via Del Burgo.
Since their re-location last August, the restaurant has ceaselessly and amply justified its reputation for great quality and inventiveness.
That is why I never bother to read the menu in such an establishment.
My friend and I just ordered the Chef’s recommendations!

burgo-2008-11-11
But first things first: I went into their cellar (yes, I’m allowed to do so, and any guest should act likewise as their cellar is open to everyone!) and chose a slightly extravagant Barolo red 2002, Azienda Agricola Cascina Fontana, Perno, Monforte d’Alba.
A very rich brew with a lot of red fruits, a slightly tannic attack turning quickly smooth on the palate after a little twirling around. The perfect nectar for the dishes that graced our table on that particular evening! (Rowena and Jen are going to kill me for such a succinct appraisal!)

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We were offered a pair of small crostini to help us wait for our first order: blue cheese cream and liver paste.

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Zuwagani Chitarra Pasta. Zuwa Crab is a delicious and slightly extravagant crab coming from the cold seas of the North. Great balance attained with the tomato and cream sauce.

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Ezo Shika Ragu Tagliatelle. Ezo Shika is a great indigenous (Japanese) deer/venison that would adorn any of our good tables in the Old and New Worlds!

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Black Truffles Risotto.
One reason why I consider Via Del Borgo one of the three best Italian Restaurants in Shizuoka is simply because they make the best risotto in the Prefecture!

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Roasted Boar Cub from Kumamoto.
Brought me back memories of French “marcassin”!

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As we had a little wine left, I asked the chef to bring a little cheese:
A spoon of acacia honey for Quartirolo (cow’s milk), Taleggio, dry figs, green pepper smoked cheese and a little home-made bread.

I have been told that my reports are a bit dry, which I totally agree with! Photos will always say more than all the prose you might embark on!
LOL

VIA DEL BORGO
420-0034, Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-cho, 3-2-7
Tel/fax: 054-221-7666
Business hours: Lunch (11:30~14:30), Cafe (15:00~), Dinner (18:00~22::00)
Closed on Tuesdays
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

Italian Cuisine: Latina


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Mr. Kojima is far from being a new face in Shizuoka City. For a long time he was the chef at Ciccio Ristorante, renamed Via de Burgo since then, before he had to take a year-long holiday due to health problems. In september 2006 he came back with a vengeance with his own restaurant, Latina, south of Shizuoka City JR Station, the fastest-changing area in town.
His (forced) move could not have happened at a better time when he took over an enormous cafe to modify it in a restaurant with a minimum of work. One can sit at a table away from the kitchen or next to it, or at a long counter overlooking Mr. Kojima’s kitchen.

Not only the food is great and very reasonably-priced, but the wine list is definitely top-class.
Now, I would suggest anyone to have a word with the master of the place before choosing one’s nectar as they are not all featured on the menu. The two friends who visited the place last Friday in my company being extremely knowledgeable, I chose a Rosso di Montalcino 2006 from Toscana. A bit young I admit, but with plenty of swirling around it did pretty well with our first order.

Although the ever-changing menu is written for all to see on a blackboard above your heads, you could always get your favourite dishes by notifying Mr. Kojima a few days in advance.
In any case, the antipasto misto was a beauty including homemade ham, crostini with homemade liver paste, omelette, meat balls, ratatouille and so forth.

Alright, I should have done my homework and prepared a menu beforehand, but as my friends intend to go as far as to organize a wine-tasting dinner there, it is only postponed!
So, to follow up in accordance with the wine, we ordered roasted guinea fowl (above)

roasted quail (notice the yellow-fleshed potatoes. Not yams, but a different variety of potatoes served as wedges with their skin, perfect!),

and a soft, so tender, venison stewed in red wine!
All cooked to precision but without any ostentation. Solid, delicious, homely fare, like in the Italian country!
Rowena, don’t kill me! And don’t ask where the Missus was!

As we still had some beautiful homemade bread left in the basket, we could not resist ordering a somewhat extravagant Carbonaione 1998 to go with some cheese in lieu of dessert. Mind you, it is only the first of a few more surveys. I shall be able to tease the likes of Memory Girl and Foodhoe later!

For this time I’ll be content with teasing Gaijin Tonic when I tell him that he Master of the place came with no less than eight kinds of Grappa for after drinks (on the house!) and two homemade liqueurs with lemon and orange!

Holy macaroni! I can tell you it was about time we took our leave as two of us were working from 9:00 a.m. the next day! Look forward to the next article!

LATINA
422-8062 Shizuoka City, Suruga Ku, Inagawa, 1-1-29
Tel. & Fax: 054-289-6522
Business hours: 11:45~14:00 (Saturday, Sunday & National Holidays only)
18:00~23:00
Closed on Mondays (or Tuesday if Monday is a National Holiday)
Credit cards OK

Italian Cuisine: Aquavite’s 10th Anniversary Dinner


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2008 saw the 10th Anniversary of Aquavite Restaurant and I just could not resist their “invitation” to their Special Dinner Course!

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They still had that favourite wine of mine in their “cellar”, so choosing this Mastremilio 2003 was easy. A high quality red wine from Toscana, it a great spicy character with lots of red berries and does need to be aerated first. But it will open quickly and become a great friend of your food!

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The starters were certainly a bit of a surprise: Carpaccio (raw, yes) of ostrich raised in Ibaraki Prefecture abundantly served with parmeggiano and luccola. The serving was comparatively big for a Japanese restaurant and the wine proved the best choice for it!

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The pasta dish was a beautiful marriage of spaghetti with home-made “botarga/dried mullet roe”, “shirasu/whiting” (from Shizuoka), French dandelion, and shark fin/”fukahire” from Miyagi perfecture (Kyushu). Talk of a truly international dish!

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The main dish (sorry for the fuzzy pic!) consisted of a sauteed cut of “sawara/large mackerel variety” cooked to perfection with new potatoes, Brussels sprouts (Shizuoka). carrots (Shizuoka) and a sweet red pimento puree/coulis. I can garantee you I wiped/swept all the sauce away with the home-made bread!

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The dessert was an original combination of panacotta, Shizuoka “Benihoppe/Red Cheek” strawberries, “Tama Konnyaku” from Yamagata Prefecture and at least three kinds of fruit coulis.

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Were we full by then? Yes, but we could not have called this dinner complete without a glass of a great Grappa Sgnappe del Checo from Friuli region to accompany our expresso!

I’m sure Rowena would have been the first to compliment the chefs!
But I’m certainly not going to wait ten more years until my next visit! LOL

Address: 420-0034 Shizuoka Shi, Tokiwa-cho, 1-2-7, Tomii Bldg. 3F
Tel. & fax: 054-2740777
Opening hours: 11:30~14:00, 18:00~22:00 (Closed on Sundays)
Homepage (Japanese)
Credit Cards OK

Italian Cuisine: Bar Rusticale

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Ten years ago when for the first time I came through Aino, Fukuroi City off Aino JR Station on my way to university, the word “desert” in any meaning was the only term I could think of.
How much it has changed since then! The Station had been created out of nothing to accomodate football/soccer fans going to the Ecopa Stadium. Since then, companies, houses and shops have sprouted everywhere on the then cheap land. It has moreover become a practical bedtown halfway between Fujieda and Hamamatsu.
The net result is that it has given birth to a few very decent restaurants, bars and even a good supermarket where I was able to acquire some hard-to-find local sakes!

Now, I had for some time wondered what was concealed behind the simple facade of this small restaurant just 3 minutes walk off Aino Station south exit. I had the opporyunity to find Bar Rusticale on the Internet and decided it was worth a visit!

Toshikazu Nakayama and his wife, Yoshie opened this unprepossessing bar-restaurant in August 2006 and have already attracted a faithful clientele including foreign visitors from the nearby Hi-Tec Company.
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Venturing there on my own proved a mistake as it was physically impossible to sample all the offerings. The cuisine, simple and tasty, bears a personal note and goes down so well with the beer, wine, cocktails, shochu and, surprise! surprise!, a sake by the Aoshima-Kikuyoi Brewery in Fujieda City. Actually I drank the sake as it was perfect with the Italian cuisine (luckily I do not know any Italians in Fukuroi City!).
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Now, the unconditional pizza lovers will be happy to learn that they offer a scrumptious “kinoko sauce/mushroom sauce pizza, just the right size for a single hungry expat!
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But the simply extravagant mushrooms and sea urchin cream risotto would be reason enough to eat at Bar Rusticale!
It is also the perfect place to relax on your own or in company either at the counter or at a table surrounded by a very clean and clear decor. There are enough drinks and tidbits to keep you busy for a while!

Problem is that it will be difficult to avoid it from now on as I have to go past it every Friday!

Bar Rusticale
437-0031 Fukuroi City, Aino, 2042
Tel. & Fax: 0538-446387
Opening hours: 11:00~14:00, 17:30~22:30
Closed on Sundays and 3rd Monday.

HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

Italian Cuisine: Lunch at Ciccio

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Was a bit in a hurry this Sunday, in-between shopping for dinner and writing at the office (no cricket today).
I decided to visit Caffe Ciccio to check what they had on their menu.
They had the perfect snack, not heavy but hearty enough before coming back to work:
Panini Set.
Look at the picture above and you will see a crunchy raw ham (there are others) cut to size with a piece of excellent quiche, a cup of vegetables soup and a side salad and a drink.
For 1,050 yen (about 9.$50), not bad at all, and very tasty!

CAFFE CICCIO
Shizuoka City, Aoi-Ku, Shichikencho, 13-20
Tel. & Fax: 0542528767
Opening hours: 11:30~22:00
Clsed on Tuesdays