Sunday, August 3, 2008

Reims Yanagidate, Aoyama

It's cool when you ask for a glass of champagne to start things off and the waiter says 'white or rose, sir?' I suppose you might expect that when the restaurant is named after the capital of Champagne (and still a word that my crappy French accent can't negotiate). But it still set a nice tone, and was a pleasant surprise when the rose champagne was even reasonably priced (not a feature I usually associate with it!).

This was a while ago (June 28th, 08, if you HAVE to know), so I'm slightly struggling to remember as much detail as I'd like to in order to convince you to go. You should know up front that it's grazing the upper limits of what I think is plausible in pricing - I sprung for the Y9,000 'fish and meat' course, which of course represents significantly good value compared to some other places lurking around Aoyama (to say nothing of the upper floors of certain famous buildings...). But the service is pretty much impeccable, at least enough for me since I'm really there for the food, and the single room is quiet, pleasant, and neutral without being boring. It's slightly tucked away off Aoyama Dori in a way that makes you feel you've gone somewhere by the time you get across the courtyard and into the restaurant, which is also nice.

So the menu is what I'm struggling to remember! That's too bad, because the food is clearly good enough to go back for even at the price. Crab and avocado tartare, chilled and tasty for early Summer. Ray sauteed in butter, pretty much as expected (bone-in though, which surprised me. Maybe you expect it that way, but I'm not French). A big, meaty main of pork roasted with truffles for two people (it's always a good sign when you can agree enough to get the 'なんとか for two people', don't you think?). If you look at the menu on the web, you'll see plenty of standards - beef tail, quail, supreme of duck...once you get to the Beef Rossini, you know what kind of restaurant you're in. I guess a good summary would be that you're not going to be shocked and awed by the choice of ingredients or preparation, but the quality and the skill comes through everywhere (in an enjoyable and tasty way, naturellement).

Come to think of it, my friend alerted me before I went that the Japanese-language reviewers said variously that this place was 'their favorite' and 'popular with rich women'. There you go, strong recommendations from everyone!

Group home page 03-3407-3538 The other places look good too - Le Charbon in Azabudai and Le Remois in Shin Maru.

Right near Omotesando Exit B2, on Aoyama dori. Just make the first right and look for the arch.

No comments:

Post a Comment