Tag Archives: イタリアレストラン

Italian Cuisine: Latina


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sake, shochu and sushi

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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