Saturday, July 5, 2008

Viron, Marunouchi

I really can't say enough good things about this place. In a dining career that has seen me revisit places only rarely, I've probably been to Viron's Marunouchi restaurant in the Tokia building more than 10 times. It's definitely overpriced for bistro food, but it's so perfect in every other way that I can't help but go over and over again.

It actually took me a few visits to realize that there was a full menu of cassoulet, choucroute, steak tartare, etc. The specials board is quite sufficient - a main board with 3-5 each entrees and mains, a separate little board indicating what 5-6 fish are fresh that day, and carafe wines. I'm struggling to think of anything that I've been disappointed in. If anything, I could possibly fault the roasted meat dishes because they're only sparsely accompanied and are enormous. The first time I saw the duck breast, I thought it was from a turkey. This is not necessarily a good thing, even though I'm America. The cooking has it all together though - everything is kinda sparkly-fresh, and even heavy stuff like fatty meat sauces or cassoulet doesn't seem tired like it does at lesser places.

Service can be a little weird when it gets busy, but that's not really fair. In general they're really nice and helpful (especially once they get over the initial warning period when they tell you that the portions are huge, so you might not want to order that...etc).

Never sat outside, but they have the perfect set of Parisian tables and chairs facing the railroad tracks and ugly street.

Other people write about the sandwiches for lunch (I went for lunch only once, on the weekend, and enjoyed it - much cheaper if you get the sets) or the bread (it IS a bakery, in theory, and the basketed bread is delicious) but to me it just seems like stereotypical Japanese perfectionism applied to the French bistro, and it's great.

Please let me know if you're going. I never get tired of it.


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