Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Salutare, Yushima (リストランテ サルターレ) 51683

I'll not soon forget this afternoon - for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to get here, one of the most popular restaurants in Yushima, the one where even I can read the comments saying "It's full every day," at exactly 12 PM. Oopsie. The waitress was nice about it, not treating me like an idiot, and actually said "You'd be fourth on the waiting list. We can call you when a table's free, OK?" Indeed. Thus I ended up doing a slow, cautious tour of Yushima by bike - so as not to get lost, which I still did, twice. But I found Yushima Shrine, and saw that it was good.

Again, I forgot to take a picture of the exterior of the restaurant. I was genuinely addled by the heat; by the end of the 45 minutes that I waited, I was thinking "Get me a beer. Get me a soda. Anything." but not stopping, just rolling on. And getting sunburned. Once I got into the cool green darkness of Salutare, I just sat and stared for a while, de-compressing and de-heating. The icepack in my boxers helped too.

You can have three courses for Y1.7k, which sounds pretty cool. One would wonder how they can afford to do that, and the answer is this: The portions are small enough. This terrine is nice, but it's also bite-sized. It wasn't memorable.I think it's more calculated to impress the ladies - the ones next to me said, respectively and in rapid succession, "Kirei" and "Kirei."

The primo course, the pasta, was better. I was sucked in by the sausage (errrr), which turned out to be mediocre and not the type of Italian sausage I dream about.The pasta was made fresh, and the sauce was excellent. The gnocchi with fresh peas at the next table would have won in a streetfight though, I'd bet on that.

The Tabelog pictures are headed by a really nice looking steak, so I sprang the extra dinero to get this. It's smaller than it looks, and wasn't cooked as perfectly as the web one. They must save the good stuff for dinner, fair enough. The blackberry is not edible (and in fact this is the next-to-last picture it will be in).

Weeellllll, there you go - neighborhood favorite that's not quite up to city-wide leadership levels. At least for lunch.

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