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Kyoto splurge (while we have a babysitter)

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We have 4 nights in Kyoto in May and are kid-free for 2 of these - any suggestions on best places for 2 great meals (one of us is a non-red meat eater)? Preferably 2 places that will offer distinct different experiences for the contrast. Not overly budget conscious (given we're paying for a 'sitter, we're after more than a noodle bar.)

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  1. We has two fantastic dinners in Kyoto last year.
    We went to an autentic Spanish tapas restaurant called Antonios on Nijo dori. There were quite a few meatless choices. We had several nice bottles of Spanish wine too. It's at the north end of Nijo Dori, North of Nijo-jo (castle).

    The other was a French restaurant where Nijo-Dori ends at the north end. I had a lamb with olives dish that was fantastic. A little more pricy than the Spanish restaurant, but worth it. Sorry, I don't remember the name.

    1. How about great, truly memorable JAPANESE meals in Kyoto? looking for both expensive and midrange/budget options.

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      1. re: barleywino

        Hey... went went there last summer and stayed a week. We had some very memorable meals.. not so much the food.although that was great too. but we had the funniest times.. It seemed every dining experience came with a story...so much sign language!! Not alot of English spoken..looking in my book.. whatever you do do NOT go to the Ashiya Steakhouse.. see all the Fodors write ups.. Funniest experience..but definetly not worth the 300.00 for two.. and we were the only ones there... we did like Yagenbori.. very small and local.. my husband had the kyseki(sp?) which he thought was incredible..gees I wish this was right when we got back.. we dined one night on the restaurant row area.. by the Gion.. which was just interesting.. wish we had done one of the noodle shops though instead..had some great French food at I think it was Le Sud..www.lesud.jp..Have a great time....if theres anything you dont eat i would sugguest making a card with an x through it.. I dont eat any seafood and had a hard time explaining that sometimes.. I wish I was going! It was truly my favorite trip yet!!!