Thursday, September 18, 2008

Salut, Ebisu

Update March 13, 2010: This place rules. It's exactly as described below, prices are still the same, room is still cheery, food is better than I remembered - mains in particular, where my fennel-stuffed, bacon-rolled rabbit loin was artistic and delicious. Chestnut + cream+ ice cream + candied walnuts + crunchy chocolate topping (like shredded chocolate phyllo) also really good. You should go.

Original post, September 18, 2008 - just after Lehman Schock!

Have I ever mentioned my motto, my life philosophy, dare I say my 'North Star'? It's simple:

"Never let the sudden, spectacular, crushing, public failure of your company keep you from eating out."

With that in mind I headed out on a weeknight, looking for something hot and French in Ebisu. Taking the long way around, I actually walked over from Roppongi, which produced first a healthy appetite, then exhaustion as we walked around Ebisu for a while looking at options. First choice, spotted on the way over and gone back to, was Artichaux, which turned out to be closed for a private party. This turned out well, because far on the other side of town we eventually stumbled on Salut, which is exactly the kind of restaurant I like. An added bonus is that it doesn't appear on Dominic's blog, which means it's the only French restaurant in Ebisu to hold that honor.

How do I like thee? Let me count the wayz, yo. Clean, simple decor. Attentive but not intrusive staff. Reasonable prices (3 courses, Y5880 + 10%). Wine list with a LOT of bottles around Y5000. Properly-sized menu (8-10 appetizers, same # of mains, 4 desserts). Thoughtful, interesting food. Decent desserts.

Everyone likes the same things as me, right? Right. I'm a big sucker for seeing a Vin de Table on a wine list, because I feel like it's a neat opportunity to discover something interesting for a reasonable price. The one we drank last night was a French merlot called Quintessence. It cost less than the amuse at the similarly-named restaurant in Tokyo... The rest of the wine list has plenty of cheap bottles that I hope are just as interesting and tasty, then escalates into the realms of expensive.

Menu! The amuse was a bit of toast with pureed hamo (the bony fish) and a little slice of kamo (the bird). Something sweet was slathered on top, and it came together well. To start, I had the boudin blanc, which was 2 links nicely presented, very light and airy and topped with sauteed chanterelles (must be the season. A Ta Geule, elsewhere in Ebisu, had a big basket of them outside, but no table for us!). These were more like a meringue sausage than anything else! I had an uneasy feeling that it was really shirako, but enjoyed it. The other appetizers I saw were the pie of pork trotters at the next table (looked good!) and the shellfish (something sorta sazae-looking) cooked escargot-style that were across the table from me.

Mains: My 'pork three ways' turned out to be more or less choucroute garni; a big pile of cabbage and beans and bacon stewed together, then topped with a sausage, some boiled pork, and a thick slice of crisped pancetta. The other main was a quail, butterflied out to within an inch of its little life and then grilled up tastily. It came with that light, delicious lemon soup that traditionally accompanies 'finger foods' like quail and lamb.

Desserts: actually some proper items there. My peach chou was neat - take a regular chou and slide in a poached sliced wedge of white peach. Classy! And the pot de banane was the sort of all-in-one dessert that's popular these days (banana pudding, some kind of mousse, some kind of jelly and some kind of ice cream) but all seemed to go together well.

There you have it, my new favorite French restaurant! Until the next one comes along.

Seems like they only have a Yahoo site
But the lovely Camille31 wrote about it with some pitchers.

1 comment:

  1. I recently ate here completely by accident (typhoon hit, forced indoors rapidly) and was pleasantly surprised by the duck confit, the sparkling wine and country foie grass. Reasonably priced.