Friday, June 5, 2009

Gabrier, Monzennakacho (ガブリエ)

Yeah, definitely looking forward to tomorrow so I can let this motif go.

Gabrier opened a couple months ago in the restaurant street north of Eitai dori - if you remember where there use to be a kinda long, narrow Italian place, with Ivy growing on the front, close to S&S izakaya and the main street leading to the temple, you've got it. What they've got now is beer, and in fact they describe themselves as a 'Downtown Beer Hall'. That means there are a bunch of beers on tap - Guiness, Kilkenny, Hoegarden and some Japanese beers, but also Strongbow Cider (ooh! Different!). The beer is OK; not as good as the Guiness I remember drinking at that Irish place we used to go to in River North in Chicago, if you remember that. No? Just me? Hmmm.

Oddly, the food isn't bad. Just stopping off on the way home from work, I couldn't eat or drink much, but the mixed sausage was OK (almost comical though - three tiny Japanese-sized sausages for $3) as was the mentai-cheeze omuletsu. The standout was the eggplant-mushroom gratin - the mushroom quotient included a lot of eringi, which yielded body and crunch to contrast with the silky smoothness of the eggplant (I've been reading too many stupid food blogs today), and the rest of the dish was packed with cheese and ground beef. Good in a soothing, chemically-enhanced way, as is so much of our food these days.

Do stop off for a beer on your way home, and if you see a portly boy chortling by himself in the's not me, so be careful.

In other news, the 2009 edition of Tokyo Calendar Emotional Restaurants Guide is out - that means 500 capsule descriptions with maps and prices. After an hour's perusal, I'm pleased to report that a) there are lots of places that look worth a visit and b) I swear the economic crisis is doing its work on the restaurant industry, because there are a lot fewer service charges and a lot more Y6,000 courses. Ahhhhhh, 幸せ.

ね、ね、ねちゃん - beer me.

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