Tag Archives: Wines

GRACE WINES Co (Yamanashi Prefecture)Wines Tasting at La Sommeliere in Shizuoka City!

La Sommeliere in Miyuki-Cho, Aoi Ku, Shizuoka Prefecture was reserved for the whole day on Wednesday, July 19th!

Once again Mr. Katsunori Kaneko of Grace Wines Co. in Yamanashi Prefecture graced (conscious pun!) us with his presence at La Sommeliere in Shizuoka City to help us taste the wines of his company under the auspices of Mrs. Hiromi Hasegawa, Wine & Sake Sommeliere and owner of the establishment!

Some of the studious attendance!

Mrs. Hiromi Hasegawa and Mr. Katsunori Kaneko looking after us!

A sample of the soil and rocks found in Katsunuma, Yamanashi Prefecture where Grace Wines Co. is located and producing organic wines since 1923!

The wines of the day!

SERENA Chardonnay Traditional Method Spakling Wine.
White. Extra brut. Chardonnay grapes.
Alcohol: 12.5%
Double fermentation. Manual remuage. 23 months maturity inside bottles.

Clarity: very clear
Color: Light golden hue. Fine bubbles.
Aroma: dry and fruity.
Dry muscat. Faint melon.
Taste: dry and fruity attack.
Wecome acidity.
Lingers long enough n the palate for true tasting.
Muscat. Raisins.
Very easy to drink. Refreshing and unpretentious.
Recommended pairings: Asparagus, vegetable salad.

Gris de Koshu
White. Alcohol: 12%. Koshu Gris grapes.

Clarity: very clear
Color: faint golden
Aroma: light and fruity with a sweetish woody accent. Faint vanilla.
Taste: dry and fruity attack.
Lingers on palate only for a short while.
Dry muscats.
Refreshing if somewhat short impression.
Tends to get sweeter and fruitier with food.
Recommended pairings: cottage cheese, vegetable salad, chicken salad.

Grace Kayagake 2016
White. Alcohol: 11.5%. Grace Wines Co. white grapes blend.

Clarity: very clear
Color: light golden hue
Aroma: dry and spicy. Dry muscats. Faint lemons.
Taste: dry and fruity attack.
Flowers, dry muscat.
Lingers on the palate only for a short while but very steady.
Ends on dry but softer note.
Easy to drink. Actually finishes on improved impression.
Recommended pairings: chicken salad, white-fleshed fish Meuniere.

Grace Koshu 2016
White. Alcohol: 12%. Grace Wines Co. Grapes blend.

Clarity: very clear
Color: light golden hue
Aroma: dry and deepish. Raisins
Taste: dry, slightly acidic and fruity attack.
Pineapple, raisins.
Lingers long enough on palate for true tasting.
Pleasant impression appealing for a further sip. Raisins tend to surge again with every sip.
Recommended pairings: tempura, sushi, grilled white-fleshed fish, vegetable terrine.

Grace Koshu Torii Birahata 2016
White. Alcohol: 12%. Grace Wines Co. Grapes blend.

Clarity: very clear
Color: light golden hue
Aroma: dry and spicy. Flowers, muscat, raisins.
Taste: dry and slightly deep attack.
Light and easy to drink.
Fine petillant.
Lingers on the palate only for a short while.
Muscat, figs.
Recommended pairings: white-fleshed fish Meuniere, sashimi, shellfish.

Koshu Torii Birahata Private Reserve 2016
White. Alcohol: 12.5%. Grace Wines Co. Grapes blend.

Clarity: very clear
Color: light golden he
Aroma: discreet and sweetish. Flowers, sweet apple, faint raisins.
Taste: dry, fruity and elegant attack.
Lingers long enough on the palate for true tasting.
Apples, faint raisins, peach.
Recommended pairings: chicken karaage, vegetable terrine.

Looking forward o he next wine tatsing!

LA SOMMELIERE

420-0857 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Miyuki Cho, 7-5, Aiseido Bldg, 1F
Tel. & Fax: 054-266-5085
Opening hours: 11:00~22:00, 12:00~18:00 on Sundays & National Holidays
FACEBOOK (Japanese)
Entirely non-smoking!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Tasting Expensive Wines at Reasonable Prices at La Sommeliere in Shizuoka City!

Mrs. Hiromi Hasegawa/長谷川浩美さん, the owner of La Sommeliere Wines & Sake Bar in Miyuki Cho, Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City has initiated a remarkable if simple way to enjoy expensive wines at reasonable prices!

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For this she did have to invest in a special machine made in Italy (she is the first one to use such a device in the whole prefecture) that can pour out wine in three different volumes, 30, 60 and 90 ml!

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The present selection (it will change regularly according to availability) features the following:

Chateauneuf du Pape By Roger Sabon, White, 2012
Roussanne, Clairette, Grenache Blanc and Bourg Blanc grapes
A 5-tar producer on the Parker List.
An elegant wine with a full body and notes of honey, pears, Casablanca iris and white peach.
30 ml/1000 yen, 60 ml/1200 yen, 90 ml/1500 yen

Menetou Salon by Chavet Fils, White, 1999
Sauvignon Blanc grapes
Solid body with a complex approach, butter, nuts and honey
Still young in approach in spite of its 16 years of age!
30 ml/1000 yen, 60 ml/1200 yen, 90 ml/1600 yen

Beaune Domaine de Lagrange, red, 1989
Pinot Noir grapes grown on minimally pesticide-treated soil
A beautifully matured and aged red wine difficult to find on the market here in Japan.
30 ml/100 yen, 60 ml/1200 yen, 90 ml/1600 yen

Tormaresca Rocco Di Lupo (Italy, Puglia), red, 2007
Aglianico grapes
A remarkable wine from South Barolo
Sweet, silky and elegant.
30 ml/1000 yen, 60 ml/1200 yen, 90 ml/1500 yen

As an indication, 30 ml represents a good gulp, 60 ml, slightly less than a standard glass at bars and restaurants, 90 ml a normal glass!

Definitely worth a try!

LA SOMMELIERE

420-0857 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Miyuki Cho, 7-5, Aiseido Bldg, 1F
Tel. & Fax: 054-266-5085
Opening hours: 11:00~22:00, 12:00~18:00 on Sundays & National Holidays
FACEBOOK (Japanese)
Entirely non-smoking!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

South African Wine Tasting: KWV Cafe Culture (conducted at La Sommeliere in Shizuoka City)

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For all the sake I taste, I also very much enjoys tasting wines what with my roots in Bourgogne, France!
Yesterday I had the occasion to discover an intriguing wine at La Sommeliere, Miyuki Cho, Aoi Ku, Shizuoka Ciy!

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KMV Cafe Culture, red, 2013!

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It has the particularity of being matured in wooden casks whose inside was seared beforehand!
Grapes is explained as Pinotage, but the grapes involved with Pinot Noir were not mentioned.

Alcohol: 14 degrees. Pretty high, even in South Africa!

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Clarity: quite opaque but very clean
Color: Deep dark red
Aroma: Deep and dry. Cocoa, coffee beans, brown sugar, caramel
Body: Full
Tasting:: Deep and dry attack with welcome spiciness.
Very complex with different facets fighting for supremacy.
Lingers long on the palate.
Prunes, raisins, coffee beans, cranberries, red fruit.
Taste will come as a surprise as the aroma is comparatively more simple and discreet.
Departs on strong notes of prunes with hints of herbs and cherries appearing late.
Turns a lot softer with cheese.
Pairs beautifully with meats, heavy sauces and cheese.

Overall: A very intriguing wine which ought to be kept at least 2 or 3 years before opening it as the tannin is still strong and aggressive with a whole palette of tastes.
Has the particularity to take on much milder, almost sweeter tone with food, especially cheese.
Very complex and elusive.
Would probably please gentlemen than ladies.
Make a point to conduct your tasting in two distinct steps, first on its own, second with strong taste food to allow you to discover two totally different characters!

LA SOMMELIERE

420-0857 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Miyuki Cho, 7-5, Aiseido Bldg, 1F
Tel. & Fax: 054-266-5085
Opening hours: 11:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays & National Holidays
Entirely non-smoking!
FACEBOOK

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Party with Bourgogne Wine Producers at Le Comptoir de Bio-S in Shizuoka City!

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Service: Pro and very friendly
Equipment: Great overall cleanliness and splendid washroom
Prices: Reasonable
Strong points: A palette of Shizuoka Prefecture Products! Great use of organic vegetables, fish and meats from Shizuoka Prefecture. True healthy gastronomy! Excellent wine list!

On Friday February 8th Le Comptoir de Bio-S witnessed the visit of three wine producers from Bourgogne, France, who introduced their creations to wine lovers in Shizuoka in the company of gastronomy based on local products!

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Arnaud Chopin, a fourth generation producer in Nuits Saint-Georges who contributed:
Cotes de Nuits Villages Rouge 2010
Nuits Saint-Georges Les Bas de Combe 2010

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Rodolphe Demougeot, who has been producing wines since the age of twenty in Beaune contributed:
Beaune Clos Sainte Desiree Blanc 2009
Beaune Les Beaux Fougets Rouge 2009

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Georges Lignier, whose family started their trade back in the 19th Century in Morey saint Denis contributed:
Morey saint Denis 2008
Gevrey Chambertin 2009

Quite a palette as you can imagine!
Arnaud, Rodolphe and Georges, ably helped by their interpreter/guide Ms. Emi Tanabe, proved the model of gastronomic ambassadors who helped so much on that night make some very lucky guests discover the marvels of Bourgogne (my home, incidentally!)!
Their wines married splendidly with the repast concocted by the chefs which proved a discovery for the French wine producers themselves!

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Tartare of root vegetables, Suruga Beef and wheat and its green organic salad!

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All organic vegetables are grownin Fujinomiya City by Matsuki Bio Farm whose owner Mr. Kazuhiro Matsuki/松木一浩さん organised the festivities in the company of wine importers!

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Charcoal grilled winter vegetables from Bio Farm in Fujinomiya City!

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The wine producers themselves confided me they were so happy enjoying truly delicious healthy food and discovering Shizuoka’s products!

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Grilled venison, “Honshu Shika/本州鹿1” raised at the foot of Mount Fuji with red wine Balsamico sauce!

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With more splendid organic vegetables!

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A rare dessert!
Organic taro/sato imo ice-cream!

A big thanks to Chef Kouji Okukumura, Mr. Kazuhiro Matsuki, Producers Arnaud Chopin, Rodolphe Demougeot, Georges Lignier and Ms. Emi Tanabe for a truly memorable night!

Le Comptoir de Bio-s by Bio Farm Matsuki
420-0852 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Kooya machi, 12-8, Sankousha Bldg, 1F
Tel./fax: 054-221-5250
Business hours: 11:30~15:00 (Last orders 14:00), 17:00~23:00 (Last orders 22:00)
Closed on Mondays
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
Entirely non-smoking!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, 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!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in kanzai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City
This is MY LIFE by Ashley Harvey

Cheese, Wine and Sake Feast at the 2nd Mt. Fuji Network Forum in Shizuoka City!

After having reported on the lunch boxes served at the 2nd Mt. Fuji Network Forum held in Granship in Shizuoka City I came back in the evening as the same doctors were enjoying a feast of cheese, wines and sake organized by Ms. Keiko Kubota of Gentil restaurant and her friends!

I wonder if the doctors realized they were sampling some of the finest and rarest sake in Japan made in Shizuoka Prefecture!

Ms. Keiko Kubota is the only Grand Chevalier de Taste Fromage in Japan!

Japanese wines brought by Nagashima Saketen Co.!

Mr. Denbei Kawamura, the Godfather of Shizuoka sake in great company!

The staff of the day, including some famous Shizuoka Gastronomes!

Almost ready…

I love blue cheese!

“Sakura”, elected the best cheese made in Japan, Tokachi, Hokkaido!

Charming bamboo cheese sticks!

Epoisses from my home, Bourgogne!

Fourme d’Ambert!

Italian cheese wrapped in Japanese cherry tree leaves!

Tempting, aren’t they?

Ms. Kubota serving some very lucky doctors!

About time I visit Gentil Restaurant!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London
Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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

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:
sake, shochu and sushi

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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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日本語のブログ
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Cheese Plate and Wine Tasting at Gentil

Cheese Tray of the day (2010/02/26):
-Top row: Brie de Meaux (4 months, France), Gorgonzola Dolce (Italy), Bleu D’Auvergne (France), Raclette (6 months, Hokkaido, Japan).
-Bottom row: Chevre Noir (2 years, Goat Milk, Canada), Mont D’or (France), Petit Agour Basque (Ewe, France), Cream cheese and Rum Raisins creation by Gentil.

It was about grand time I paid a visit to Gentil, the oldest French restaurant (1964) in Shizuoka City.
It is a great and accordingly expensive restaurant, but if you confine yourself to a plate of cheese and a glass of good wine, it is actually great value.
Ms. Keiko Kubota is THE authority on any cheese in Japan and actually helps mature cheese she acquires all year long in season only.

As for wines, the pairings are just sublime.

As I had oredered the full tray and requested a white wine, I was offered the following:

A white from my country!

Alsace, France, Riesling by Jean Ginglinger, 2008.

Very clear and clean. Bright golden colour
Aroma: Fruity and sweetish, very natural, green grass, Muscat and apples.
Taste: Soft attack, fruity at first with muscat, but quickly taking a very tangy turn with green grass, green apples and peach memories.
Very pleasant and great pairing with cheese. Kept it own all the time in spite of the strong cheese.

Now for the plate!
All the cheeses represented on the tray at the top of this article are feature except one!
Can you guess them all?

The raclette came on toasts!
I will not bore you with the tasting of the cheeses. They are just all top in their own categories and seasonal. The only thing I will say is that start chasing them around wherever you live!LOL

You do need some sugar to balance all the salt ingested with the cheese!
Chocolate cake, Mikan/Orange jelly and Creme brulee (and sorbets!)

Instead of coffee, I opted for the sorbet/sherbet farandole:
Camomille & Milk, Rum Raisins, Maro-Blue/Usubeni Aoi Herb.
The little mignardise is a snow ball bicuit made with chocolate and caraway seeds.

Need I comment more?

Restaurant Gentil
Address:420-0031 Shizuoka Shi, Gofuku-cho, 2-9-1, Gennan Kairaku building, 2F
Tel.: 054-2547655 (Reservations advisable)
Fax: 054-2210509
Opening hours: 12:00~14:00, 18:00~last orders for meals at 21:30. Bar time 18:00~23:30. Closed on Mondays.
Credit cards OK
Homepage (Japanese)

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Social Culinaire, Sushi Nomads, Cook, Eat & Share, Gourmet Fury, 5 Star Foodie, Easy Does It Recipes, Oyster Culture, Once A Chef, All In Good Food, Cooking Stuff, Cheese Monger, Palate To Pen, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Citron Et Vanille, The Cheese Godess

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Cote Chalonnaise: Bourgogne Most Underrated Wines 2: Bouzeron

Visiting La Maison Des Vins in Chalon sur Saone with the Missus, my brother, Francois and the Master of the House, Jean-Charles Bezin.

SYNOPSIS:

I wrote this series of articles to help wine lovers to discover the wines of a region which have stayed ignored for too long and emnetly deserved to be explored!

Part 1: Introduction

BOUZERON


Click for bigger image and printing!

Bouzeron became the 5th Cote Chalonnaise Village/Commune in Saône-et-Loire departement. It is located nearest to Côte-d’Or. Created by a government decree on February 17th, 1998, this appellation has replaced the old regional appellation, Bourgogne Aligoté Bouzeron, introduce in 1979.
Production villages/communes : Bouzeron et Chassey-le-Camp.
In the Côte Chalonnaise, in northern Saône-et-Loire, it is separated from Santenay by the Dheune River valley. This slopy village lies very near Rully and Chassagne-Montrachet.

Domaine A & P de Villaine, Bouzeron.

Bouzeron and its Aligoté was spearheaded by the efforts of Aubert de Villaine, co-owner of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti. Together with his wife Pamela de Villaine he owns Domaine A & P de Villaine in Bouzeron.
Mr Chanzy Daniel, grower/producer, one of the creators of the apppellation is the present president of the appellation Committee.
Syndicat viticole de l’appellation Bouzeron, 71150 BOUZERON.

The village, first called “Boserontis villa”, was given by King Charles le Chauve (The Bald) in 872 to the monks of Saint-Marcel-les-Chalon.

Bouzeron Vineyards (click on pic for bigger image)

Bouzeron are exclusively made (100%) with Aligote grapes.
Bouzeron is the sole Aligote village appelletion in the world!

Aligote grapes

Wine Character:
This white wine has a light golden hue with a pale green note which can becaome a light straw colour.
Its aroma reminds of acacia, white fowers and hazlenuts.
It is complemented with mineral scents (limestone) and lemon, its classical bouquet. An occasional memory of honey and hot croissant pleasantly peeks out.
Well-rounded on the palate, it reveals a solid body and a typical aligote grape lively character. Nuances vary with the terroirs.

Sommelier’s advice:

White: superb lively and rounded synthesis. This “gourmand” and delicately powerful wine offers its lemon notes to oysters with a beneficial channeling of the latter’s iodine strength thanks to a sustained minerality. It equally benefits tarama and crustaceans, steamed or in gratins. Its pronouced roundness emphazies veal and poultry in hite sauces. Mushrooms risotto will thank it thanks to its aromatic consistency.
Served as a first wine with beautiful gougères and appetizers: jambon persillé, mixed salads, quiches… it perfectly marrries with most chèvres/goat, beaufort, comté et cîteaux cheeses.

Service temperature: 10 to 11 °C as an aperitif, 11 to 12 °C on the table (meal).

Production:

Production surface: 44 ha
Yeraly average yield: 1 945 hl (count 130 bottles per hl)

RECOMMENDED WINES:

-Domaine CHANZY 2008
-Domaine A.& P.DEVILLAINE 2008
-Domaine P. GUILLOT 2007

La Maison Des Vins in Chalon sur Saone has done invaluable work since 1982 to make the wines of the region better known to the general public and connoisseurs alike.
It offers their own selection twice a year, choosing the best 122 wines of Cote Chalonnaise in one single Wine shop with the help of a blind tasting jury.
The chosen wines will be sold there at the producers’ prices (lower than anywhere else!) for the following 6 months!
The Restaurant de La Maison des Vins on the second floor (equiped with elevator and physically-impaired people facilities) will introduce you to the regional gastronomy served with the wines of the Cote Chalonnaise in a very quiet part of the city near the very wide Saone River.
Both are a must-visit before you venture through the hilly country in search for your unknown nectar!

La Maison Des Vins
Promenade Sainte Marie
711OO Chalon sur Saône
France
Téléphone : (33)03-85-41-64-00
Fax: (33)03-85-41-99-83
HOMEPAGE

The Restaurant de la Maison des Vins
Tel : (33)03-85-41-66-66
Fax : (33)03-85-43-82-25

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Jefferson’s Table, Wheeling Gourmet, 5 Star Foodie, Frank Fariello, Oyster Culture, Comestilblog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery
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Cote Chalonnaise: Bourgogne Most Underrated Wines 1: Inroduction

Me standing in a vineyard just behind my father’s home in Givry!

For long wines from the Cote Chalonnaise have been ignored because they were “wampirized” by the big Bourgogne “negociants/dealers” who found very practical to mix them with other wines and sell them as better-quality straight Bourgogne appellation bottles.

But times have changed and especially the new generation of wine growers have rebelled and gone their own way, proving that quality for quality their wines were better value than their “cousins” up north. The term “cousins” is what the the so-called specialists often call Cote Chalonnaise wines when comparing them to the celebrated nectars which have made Bourgogne known all the World. I certainly beg to differ. Cote Chalonnaise wines have simply matured into a variety of their own.

Côte Chalonnaise is a subregion of the Burgundy/Bourgogne wine region of France. Côte Chalonnaise lies to the south of the Côte d’Or continuing the same geology southward. It is still in the main area of Burgundy wine production but it includes no Grand cru vineyards. Like the Côte d’Or, it is at the western edge of the broad valley of the river Saône, on the rising ground overlooking the town of Chalon-sur-Saône which is about six kilometers out into the plain. To the north, across the River Dheune, lies the Côte de Beaune. To the south is the Mâconnais. The grapes of the region are predominantly Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with some Aligoté and Gamay also grown in vineyards spread over a stretch of 25 kilometers long and 7 kilometers wide of undulating land in which vineyards are interspersed with orchards and other forms of farming.

The wine-producing communes of the Côte Chalonnaise are, from the north: Bouzeron, the only communal AOC for Aligoté still wine; Rully, which has 23 premier cru vineyards and is known for its white wines as well as being a center for Crémant sparkling wines production; Mercurey, which with 30 premier cru vineyards is the largest volume producer of the region, its wines being nearly all red; Givry, with 17 premier cru vineyards producing mostly red wines; and Montagny, which produces only white wines in its 49 premier cru vineyards.

Visiting La Maison Des Vins in Chalon sur Saone

La Maison Des Vins in Chalon sur Saone has done invaluable work since 1982 to make the wines of the region better known to the general public and connoisseurs alike.
It offers their own selection twice a year, choosing the best 122 wines of Cote Chalonnaise in one single Wine shop with the help of a blind tasting jury.
The chosen wines will be sold there at the producers’ prices (lower than anywhere else!) for the following 6 months!
The Restaurant de La Maison des Vins on the second floor (equiped with elevator and physically-impaired people facilities) will introduce you to the regional gastronomy served with the wines of the Cote Chalonnaise in a very quiet part of the city near the very wide Saone River.
Both are a must-visit before you venture through the hilly country in search for your unknown nectar!

La Maison Des Vins
Promenade Sainte Marie
711OO Chalon sur Saône
France
Téléphone : (33)03-85-41-64-00
Fax: (33)03-85-41-99-83
HOMEPAGE

The Restaurant de la Maison des Vins
Tel : (33)03-85-41-66-66
Fax : (33)03-85-43-82-25

Amphorae found in the region

The Côte Chalonnaise is named after the town of Chalon-sur-Saône, located on the Saône. Its location made the town an important trading center of the Celts in Gaul and was known as Cabilonum. The region was later used by the Ancient Romans with wine being one of the commodities traded up and down the river. More than 20,000 amphorae stamped with Roman emblems have been found in graves in this area, and 1,000 were discovered at the bottom of the Saone River apparently thrown overboard by a Roman trader who discovered the practicality of Celtic oak casks!

South of the village of Santenay in the Côte de Beaune region is the city of Chagny which begins the Côte Chalonnaise, although the city itself does not produce wine. On the other hand Maranges, although lying in Saone et Loire is not part of Cote Chalonnaise yet. The climate and vineyard soils of the Côte Chalonnaise are very similar to those of the Côte d’Or, though the rainfall is slightly less. However, unlike the Côte d’Or, the vineyards of the Côte Chalonnaise do not run along the slopes of a single escarpment but rather are three isolated on patches of limestone. The first patch of vineyards located northwest of Chalon-sur-Saône includes the villages of Bouzeron, Rully and Mercurey which is separated by only a few kilometers from the second patch of vineyards around the village of Givry. Located due west from Saint-Rémy and southwest of Chalon-sur-Saône this patch is nearly 5 kilometers from the third patch of vineyards that make up the Montagny region.

Cote Chalonnaise Country

The landscape of the region is much more agrarian than other parts of Burgundy with pastures and orchards interspersed among vineyards. The soft rolling hills of the area reach altitudes between 750-1,050 feet (230-320 meters). These hills provide some protection from frost and hail damage. The soil is predominately limestone mixed with sand and clay and the occasional iron deposit. Around the city of Mercurey, the soil has a high concentration of iron-enriched marl. The diversity in slopes and soils creates a myriad of microclimates that can greatly influence the varying quality of wine from the Côte Chalonnaise, even among vineyards labeled as premier cru.

All wine produced in the Côte Chalonnaise qualifies for the Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) Bourgogne Côte Chalonnaise though it is more often declassified to the generic Bourgogne AOC because of the higher name recognition of the later. Sparkling wine made from the region is usually labeled as Crémant de Bourgogne. The Côte Chalonnaise has five village-level AOCs. They are, from north to south: Bouzeron, the only communal AOC for Aligoté still wine; Rully, which has 23 premier cru vineyards and is known for its white wines as well as being a center for Crémant sparkling wines production; Mercurey, which with 30 premier cru vineyards is the largest volume producer of the region, its production being nearly all red; Givry, whose 17 premier cru vineyards also produce mostly red wines; and Montagny which produces only white wines and has 49 premier cru vineyards. There is currently no Grand Cru classed vineyards in the Côte Chalonnaise.

I will start introducing the wines of each appelation from the next article with the qualified help of my friends at La Maison des Vins!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Jefferson’s Table, Wheeling Gourmet, 5 Star Foodie, Frank Fariello, Oyster Culture, Comestilblog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery
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Wine Tasting in Shizuoka 3: Le Temps Des Cerises (Languedoc)

CERISE-2

As I mentioned in my previous tatsing I’m not ready yet to completely forget my roots. When there is good wine around, I see no reason to ignore it.
I thought it might be a good idea to taste the wines (within reasonability) available in this part of Japan!

This tasting also occurred at Lavigne in Shizuoka City!

Axel Prufer is a yaoung German vigneron who learned his trade before establihing himself in Languedoc, France in 2003.
He is an active member of a new type of winegrower belonging to the “Natural Wine School”.
This “Vin de Table/Table Wine” of his was conceived away from the higher appelations’ restrictions, but certainly has nothing to do with the legal Vin de Table! The alcohol content alone is a good enough indication. As for the price, although deserved, it would make vins de table inaccessible!
Incidentally the design on the label means “Spring has come!”

CERISE-1

Les Lendemains Qui Chantent
Le Temps des Cerises
Vin de Table Francais
Axel Prufer, Vigneron a 34260 Le Mas Blanc (Languedoc)
Grenache Grapes 100%
Alcohol: 13.5 proof degrees
Retail price (in Japan): 3,654 yen

Colour: Ruby red, very deep, clea.

Aroma: Strong, a little pungent, dry red fruits, green leaves

Taste: Soft attack backed by a little tannin.
Strong red fruits: Strawberries, raspberries, cherries, blueberries.
Very dry and soft.
Strong and short finish.
Taste lingering for quite long in the back of the mouth.

Eminently drinkable. Goes well with meat and heavy sauces.

LAVIGNE
420-0852, Shizuoka City, Aoi-Ku, Kutsunoya Cho, 17-2, 1F (2 minutes walk from JR Station)
Tel/fax: 054-205-4181
Opening hours: 11:00~22:00
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow
5 Star Foodie
Frank Fariello
Mangantayon
Cheese Monger
Rubber Slippers in Italy
Palate To Pen
Tokyo Foodcast
Urban Sake
Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass
Oyster Culture

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Wine Tasting in Shizuoka 2: Saint-Veran-La Bernardiere

ST-V1

As I mentioned in my previous tatsing I’m not ready yet to completely forget my roots. When there is good wine around, I see no reason to ignore it.
I thought it might be a good idea to taste the wines (within reasonability) available in this part of Japan!

This tasting also occurred at Lavigne in Shizuoka City!

ST-V2

Saint-Veran is still a very new and still raltively unknown AOC from the very southern tip of the Maconnais area in Bourgogne. Longer summers than in vaunted northern Bourgogne give it a different character.

Domaine Combier
Saint-veran AOC (Maconnais, Bourgogne, France)
La Bernardiere in Prisse Village
2005, 100% Chardonnay, 14 degrees proof (high)
Retailed in Japan at 3,000 yen

Colour: Beautiful, clear, limpid gold. Darker than usual Chardonnay.

Aroma: Fruity, flowers. Pleasantly strong. Nutty, honey. Complex.

Taste: dry attack. Longish but light tail.
Nuts, macadamia, butter,memories of smoked cheese.
Turns slightly sweeter with food.
Pleasant finish expanding at the back of the mouth.
Changes little with food.
Pleasant overall impression.
Can be enjoyed on its own as well as with almost any food.
Well-rounded and lively.

LAVIGNE
420-0852, Shizuoka City, Aoi-Ku, Kutsunoya Cho, 17-2, 1F (2 minutes walk from JR Station)
Tel/fax: 054-205-4181
Opening hours: 11:00~22:00
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow
5 Star Foodie
Frank Fariello
Mangantayon
Cheese Monger
Rubber Slippers in Italy
Palate To Pen
Tokyo Foodcast
Urban Sake
Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass

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Wine Tasting in Shizuoka 1: Domaine Dupont-Fahn

OC-1

For all my love of Japanese sake, I’m not ready yet to completely forget my roots. When there is good wine around, I see no reason to ignore it.
I thought it might be a good idea to taste the wines (within reasonability) available in this part of Japan!

A great place to that is Lavigne in Shizuoka City, an off-the-track establishment which combines a shop and standing bar offerring exclusively French wines they have discovered and imported themselves. As I visit the place at least once a week for a quick glass, I fially took my pen and notes yesterday!

OC-3

Michel Dupont-Fahn is not an obscure wine maker in France and has incrasingly been praised for his somewhat extravagant single cepage Vins de Pays.
The wine I tasted last night reads as follows:
Vin Du Pays d’Oc
Domaine Dupont-Fahn, 2008, red
Cabernet-Sauvignon, 100%
Alcohol: 14 degrees proof
Vandange et trie manuellement/hand-picked and chosen

OC-2

Colour: very deep, rich red
Aroma: Clean, powerful. Dry cassis/red fruit
Taste: Dry, strongish attack.
Good body
Dry red fruit
Shortish tail
Sharpish and short tannic note
Strong dry finish

Solid in spite of its youth. Surprisingly well-balanced. Soft on the palate with food.
A wine for all seasons.
Needs a little aging.
Retailed at 2,780 yen, 30 US$ (quite steep for a Vin de Pays!)

LAVIGNE
420-0852, Shizuoka City, Aoi-Ku, Kutsunoya Cho, 17-2, 1F (2 minutes walk from JR Station)
Tel/fax: 054-205-4181
Opening hours: 11:00~22:00
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow
5 Star Foodie
Frank Fariello
Mangantayon
Cheese Monger
Rubber Slippers in Italy
Palate To Pen
Tokyo Foodcast
Urban Sake
Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass

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

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Italian Restaurant: Aquavite (first visit in 2009)

aqua-09-61aqua-09-71
(pics by Haruka Yamaguchi)

Service: Excellent and very friendly
Facilities: great and very large washroom, great cleanliness overall
Prices: reasonable to expensive.
Specialty:Top-class Italian wines, Charcoal grill.

Last week was my first “visit” to this old favourite Italian Restaurant of mine in Shizuoka City, namely Aquavite.
A ever-solid reference, I have introduced it time and again, therefore I will keep to the basics, that is the food I enjoyed in the company of my good friend, Haruka Yamaguchi, who was kind to help me with the photographs!

aqua-09-2a
(Haruka Yamaguchi)

I’m slowly introducing my (young, and don’t start gossiping! I know her whole family!) friend to wine, and I’m sure that friends like Jen would approve! Haruka wanted white wine.
aqua-09-22
(Haruka Yamaguchi)
Aquavite had this (for a reasonable price!) 2002 Tenuta Castellino, Terre di Francia Acorta in Coccaglio (12.5 proof). Rowena, have you heard of it?
A very pleasant aroma of Muscat, dry and fruity was rediscovered in tasting it, fruity, dry flowery with a gentle lingering. Proved as soft, elegant and complex for the whole meal. Haruka was not holding up this time!

aqua-j-09-2

The first hors d’oeuvre was a succulent Iwate “Sanriku” Oyster served with just enough sesaoning.

aqua-j-09-3

The second hors d’oeuvre,”Shirako Gratin” did not make my friend blush! (“shirako” is what male cod fish are proud of!). Light, eminently tasty, I wish I could serve it online!

aqua-j-09-4

The pasta dish was a beautiful creation in its simplicity: Shizuoka-grown mizuna with “Taragani” Crab Peperocino Spaghetti!
Light, elegant and the perfect amount of spiciness!

aqua-j-09-5

Grilled scallops with mizuna and Parmeggiano. Need I comment?

aqua-j-09-6

The Milano Risotto and its Foie Gras! Perfect balance with a very light risotto and rich foie gras sauteed with balsamico!

aqua-j-09-7

Charcoal-grilled “Shamo Niwatori” Chicken (extravagant in Japan!) with grilled new potatoes and its ramequin of liver and heart!

aqua-j-09-8

And then it was time for dessert:
Tiramisu for me (let’s keep things simple! LOL)

aqua-09-9
(Haruka Yamaguchi)

Haruka kept very silent as she devoured her Torta di Bosaiola with prunes and nuts!

Well, well, where are going next (actually expect something soon about Italian Cuisine!)

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


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French Restaurant: Hana Hana (first visit in 2009)


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hana-09-4

Service: Excellent and very friendly
Facilities: great and very large washroom, great cleanliness overall
Prices: reasonable, good value

Hana Hana in Shizuoka City has always been a favourite because you can always expect both their classical dishes to be on the menu while seasonal offerings and creations are constantly appearing around the corner for your great pleasure!

Today being Thursday, the Missus and I visited the place for lunch. Instead of choosing one of the very good value “lunch sets”, we opted for the Lunch Course menu which allows you to choose three courses out of a good eighteen with coffee, bread and amuse bouche included!

Here was what we savoured:

hana-09-1

As I said above, the amuse-bouche is included, and we were served a Hana Hana classic, namely “shirako/Cod Sperm Sacs” (sorry, I’m a blunt savage!) sauteed Italian-style. Even the Missus who usually avoid this acquired taste morsel greatly appreciated it. Crispy outside, melting like foie gras inside.

hana-09-2

The Missus next chose a Hana Hana regular hors d’oeuvre, “Suwa Gani Terrine/Suwa (from Hokkaido) Crab Terrine”. A very light terrine served with a cold tomato coulis and crispy fresh greens.

hana-09-3

As for me, I ordered a new dish, Foie gras stuffed blini with cream sauce mushrooms. Lighter than expected, but very satisfying and succulent. A great simple but sophisticated idea!

hana-09-41

The Missus, a duck addict, could not help try the young duck breast roasted and sliced with a delightful sweet sauce (madeira wine?). She somehow managed to leave a few slices for me to taste!

hana-09-5

Being a galant gentleman (who am I kidding? certainly not my better-worse half!), I asked for the scallops sauteed Provence-style as my poor companion could not decide which main order to go for. Actually, I was looking forward to the small exchange cited above! Cooked to perfection with delightful petite ratatouille.

hana-09-3_0001

And it was time for dessert!
The Caramel Creme Brulee topped Caramel Ice-cream would have Rich take the next plane to Japan!

hana-09-7

As for the Blanc-manger, the French equivalent of the Chinese almond curd dessert, I can assure you that the next Chinese (and other Asian) tourists to Shizuoka would not miss it for anything!

Saying that I’m looking forward to my next visit is a gross understatement!

Hana Hana
Open for lunch and dinner.
Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (will change in the near future, so please do call!)
420-0037 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Hitoyado-cho, 1-3-12
Tel. & Fax: 054-2210087
Credit cards OK