Thursday, June 10, 2010

Viron, Marunouchi

Viron probably holds the title of 'most visited restaurant in Tokyo' for me. Weird, isn't it? You can tell how much I like it because, when I started this blog, before I started writing about the restaurants that I was visiting, I wrote about a few things that were lodged in my memory, and Viron was the fifth that I wrote about. Out of the top 4, one is closed and two I wouldn't recommend to you anyway, so Viron is in some ways my #1 restaurant in Tokyo. As a happy coincidence, when Volleyball called to tell me he was leaving the country and suggested a final lunch, his prior meeting was in the same building. And there we were.

If you were having a last lunch before your execution, you wouldn't go far wrong ordering some liver mousse to start (accompanied by free-flowing supplies of Viron's excellent baguettes), then the one-plate lunch of assorted fish grilled with vegetables and napped with saffron cream sauce, and finally the daily tart (fresh plums) with fresh cream. The one-plate lunch goes a lot farther when you surround it with two other plates. And coffee. And it's Viron, so the food really couldn't be better. Seriously. There's no aspiration to greatness beyond the genre, just the best bistro cooking I can imagine. The contrary desires of anyone who doesn't love this place are beyond me, and that's why I've been going back for years.

It's been a long time since the last visit, maybe last summer. And at that point, and points before, I guess I wouldn't have known who Pierre Gagnaire was. But there's his signature on the wall, large as life, larger than even Volleyball's chromed dome. Good luck out there, buddy.

Small pleasures go a long way.

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