Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ammirare Firenze, Kamakura

Well off the beaten path for this one, but I was joining my friend for a (pretty terrible) sort of community-themed live music event near his house in Kamakura. And when venturing into the wilderness like that, I always figure one should make the most of it and explore some local fare.

After hours of searching the internet for an appetizing-looking place in Kamakura or Yokohama (I figured it’s on the way and bigger, so there must be something good, right?) I got frustrated and gave up for the day. There was a place I had seen in Tokyo Calendar, but I couldn’t find it on line. Turns out it was Ammirare Firenze, and I could find it on line, but it didn’t look as good in the Web as it had in the magazine. Anyway, I booked it up and let it fly.

Given the amount of time that it takes to get to Kamakura and some sudden rain, we were almost 90 minutes late (I called to advise, twice). The staff accepted this with good humor; it seems they’re open all afternoon anyway, which is a nice touch for a place sort of midway between the station and the beach. There’s a very nice terrace outside, partly facing the busy street and part facing some modern buildings across an alley (a situation that reminded me a lot of Thailand for some reason). Despite the ceiling fans, we sat inside, which was modern, brown/stone, dark and cool.

Good value menus! I think the basic 3-course lunch was Y1800. I had the Y3000 which included appetizer, pasta, main, dessert and coffee. This was just over a week ago, but I’m already limited in how much I can remember. Two things stand out: orrechiette with clams and kalasumi (which you’ll see on the web site and in the magazine ad) was nice – good flavor and texture. As yet another aside, this is the dish that has since inspired me to make orrechiette twice, neither time working out very well. The main of pork cutlet (like a Weener Shnitzel or somethin’ like that) was surprising because it was so porky in such a tasty way. Glass wine was sensibly priced and goodly value.

There you go – pleasant, a few memorable items, good value…good for a Saturday lunch in my book! If you’re in that odd bit of neighborhood, and feel the need, you could do worse.

How do they make that pasta?
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