Tag Archives: Italian Gastronomy

Italian Restaurant: Acqua di Fonte

Service: Excellent and very friendly
Facilities: very clean all around
Prices: reasonable
Specialty: Central and south Italian-style cuisine. Very reasonables prices. Very reasonably-priced wines.
no-smoking-logo1 Non-smoking at tables and most of the counter!

Acqua di Fonte/The Fountain Water followed in the steps of the good Italian restaurants in Shizuoka City when it opened this year on March 11th.
It is located in a former fashion shop in the Takajo district, which is fast becoming a reference in the whole Prefecture when it comes to tasting gastronomies from all corners of the world in a single area, and this at the highest level. As there arejust enough seats for 8 at the counter and 12 at tables, it is a good idea to reserve.

Young chef Hidetake Suzuki is a local as he was born in Fujieda City. Before working in another Italian restaurant in the same city, he spent no less than three and a half years studying his trade in Napoli and Sicilia, and it shows. Notwithstanding the great taste his cuisine is light, precise and very traditionally Italian in concept with great products and this at very reasonable prices.

The wine list is a welcome show of reasonability:
White and red wines are listed in three different parts at 2,800, 3,800 and 4,800 yen a bottle.
You can also order by the glass at 550 yen.

I ordered a very solid wine for 4,800 yen from the Campania region, KLEOS, Luigi Maffini, Aliano grapes.

Very deep red with a good fruity flavor. Very solid with welcome tanginess. Very good with meat in particular.

Dinner set menus are priced at 4,200, 6,000 and 8,000 yen but the carte is worth exploring with 9 Primi Piatti, 5 Secondi Piatti and 3 Dolce.
A short carte, but to the point and with some unusual discoveries.
Here is what I chose for my first visit:

Caprese salad. The tomatoes are Ameera Tomatoes from Shizuoka. The luccolla is wild luccolla!

Solento Gnocchi

Vitello Taliata/Veal with a sauce made with chestnut flower honey, red wine and balsamico!

A plate of Italian charcuterie!

The Focassa is home-made.

Semi-freddo di Mandorle/almond ice-cream!

Second visit planned soon! I certainly need to take better pictures next time!LOL

ACQUA DI FONTE Antica Osteria
420-0839 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Takajo, 1-10-10, Pia Takajo, 1F
Tel. & Fax: 054-266-6440
Opening hours: 11:30~14:00, 18:00~22:00
Closed on Wednesdays and first Tuesday
Credit cards OK

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Bento Boutique, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

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BOOK REVIEW: Breaking Bread In L’Aquila by Maria Filice

When Maria Filice conceived this cookbook remarkable for its beautiful practicality she had love, simplicity and knowledge in mind.

Love for the people living in the L’Aquila Region of Abruzzo, love for her late husband, Paul Piccone, who introduced her to their homey gastronomy, love for her guests past, present and future and love for ample, complete and delicious food.

Simplicity in a book eminently utilitarian for all cooks and chefs, be they absolute beginners trying to please their loved ones or veteran chefs in search of inspiration back to the basics.

Knowledge to be acquired about traditional ingredients, new taste combinations and forgotten wines for perfect pairing with her recipes.

This cookbook ought to be left open at all times on the kitchen table of all Italian food lovers, and all food lovers for that matter.
Preceded by an eye-opening introduction on her entertaining philosophy and the wines of Abruzzo, Maria’s work has been organized along the seven days of the week with a full Italian meal suggestion for everyone of them.
Actually, more than a meal, she is taking her guests along a daily feast from the Antipasti, through Primi Piatti and Seondi Piatti to the Dolci via a detour through a Contorni.

I do not wish to reveal all the secrets of her book, but I cannot help recommend my own biased selection:
-Antipasti: Insalata di Mare e Servita nel Radicchio (Seafood salad in a Radicchio Cup)
-Primi Piatti: Pasta e Lenticchie (Pasta and Lentils)
-Primi Piatti: Minestra di Farro (Spelt Soup)
-Secondi Piatti: Scaloppine al Vino Bianco (Veal Scaloppine in White Wine)
-Secondi Piatti: Pollo Arrosto con Aglio e Rosmarino (Chicken with Rosemary and Garlic)
-Contorni: Fritto Misto di Funghi (Sauteed Mushromms Madley)
-Dolci: Torta di Caffe (Coffee Cake)

I wrote this review at the counter of Il Paladino, one of the very best Italian Restaurants in all Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. When I mentioned the wines of Montelpuciano to my friend chef, he just went to his cellar to show me a couple of the bottles he had on his wine list (some more expensive of the same name are kept away from the list for special guests!)!
It certainly piqued his curiosity when I told him the reason of my query. Consequently, we went through Maria’s book together all over again at ease (I had chosen a quiet time of the day!) and he was so impressed by the direct approach of the recipes and the accompanying photographs that he requested me to keep the book long enough for him to consult!

Not only this cookbook will help you make your friends and family discover the pleasures of a great regional Italian gastronomy, but the net profits of its sales will be donated to help the victims of devastation caused by the earthquake which recently struck L’Aquila.

For direct purchase consult Maria Filice’s own website at www.telospress.com/foodandfate

Robert-Gilles Martineau

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Bento Boutique, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento

Please check the new postings at:
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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)

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

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