Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Les Enfants Terrible, Azabu Juban

Update: August 11: Recently heard and then saw that this place is gone. Sorry I've been so tardy to update.
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Update: November 08: Salad Nicoise, small and disappointing compared to Lyonnaise (I really think they accidentally gave me full-size the first time). Pan-fried fish, something tai-ish, excellent, served in skillet with vegetables (definitely their theme). Baked tuna cheeks a la Basquaise, also excellent, served in cast-iron pot. Glass wine still expensive. Service still good and chargeable. Bread tolerable, chargeable, but refillable without additional charge.
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Out for a walk after work, I had a goal of finding someplace new and different. I walked through Moto Azabu (didn't want to go to Bon Pinard alone), Hiroo, then got lost and ended up circling around Shirogane. Somehow I wasn't able to decide on anything (I don't know where all the restaurants are in Shirogane, but I missed most of them), and accidentally found myself back in Juban. Then I saw something promising, which turned out to be something that had also looked promising in a magazine recently.

Les Enfants Terrible is related to the (recently recommended) Les Enfants Gate (imagine the accents, please), and more distantly to the dear, departed Club Nyx, which used to offer pretty good French regional food from a 2nd-story establishment on the north side of Chuo dori in Ginza. It caught my eye in the magazine because the decor is dark and elaborate, almost like 'gothic bistro'. Like many evening establishments, I hear it's a bit overdone during the day, but it works well at night. I took a seat by the tall, open front windows.

Skipping the wine (weeknight, no half-bottles, glass options too expensive), I went straight for a Lyon style salad. This unfortunately came with a healthy compliment of liver in addition to the bacon I was expecting, but I got it all down and even enjoyed some of it. The rest of the salad was nice, and for Y1000 this is a good deal. With bread, it would be an excellent lunch. I also had the confit, which was excellent. It appears on the web site or tabelog, but the pictures don't do justice to the presentation (in its own skillet), the near-perfect-but-slightly-dry taste and texture of the confit, the really-just-perfect deep-fried potatoes, or the bit if salad.

Service was also a bit 'gothic bistro', but somehow managed to balance their remoteness and faint hint of vampirism with a level of attentivity that meant I didn't even mind the 10% service charge. And that takes a LOT of doing.

The site is not so good, but we pays our money and we takes our chances.
03-5444-2929

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