Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Al Porto Don, Tokyo

Whoo, that was close my friends... 鈴時さん and I actually got all the way to the table of Suginoko before the sight of the menus reminded me that I had been there before. Oops. Fortunately this was the penultimate day of new-venue restrictions, and in the future such little slips won't risk endangering mt, errr, reputation.

Fortunately, Al Porto is just across the 'street', by which I mean Kitchen Street. While it looks confusingly similar to some other places in that immediate vicinity, it is indeed a separate (and new to me) establishment. It promises to serve 'Italian Don', by which we mean either pasta bowls or else Italian-themed stuff over rice. The head restaurant is in Nishi Azabu, and how I came not to eat lunch there ever is a bit beyond me since it's well within the ambit of a walk from Hillz.

The dons here are decent, if basic and unadorned. 鈴時 had the daily special crab pasta, which was a healthy portion of shredded king crab mixed with some vegetables in an oil-based sauce. I had the seafood ragu, which turned out to be a fine dice of mystery shellfish mixed with red sauce; it was comfortingly red and the shellfish were nicely chewy. Not much else to say about these - they come in small round bowls, and are blissfully ignorant of modern trends like including a small salad or a coffee-themed beverage. You pay your money, you get your pasta. It's even served on a cafeteria-style tray to maximize the utilitarian aspects of the experience (which I don't think is their intention).

Well, the head store actually looks like it would be pleasant, so if you're in that neighborhood why not check it out? At Tokyo Station, I'd probably err on the side of the Illy Cafe for pastas like these, with excellent coffee to boot.

Is Don? Is good.

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