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Il Ghiottone - - Wow

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I normally try to eat Japanese when I'm in Tokyo, so I have only tried a few western/European restaurants. Il Ghiottone is the first where the meal was so good it rivaled anything I'd eat in Paris, Rome, San Sebastian, etc. One bite after the next; I'll try to do it justice.

The first course was a warm uni dish in a small cup. It is funny that I really dislike uni in the US, but the uni in japan is so different and tasty.

Things started getting interesting with the second course. It was beautifully presented on a black [not shiny] rectangular slab. A variety of thinly sliced radishes, topped asymmetrically with a variety of thinly sliced fish, sauces and foams. There was also some botarga on the plate. So many tastes that you could join together by proximity. A lot of different flavors that worked together and very delicate yet fun.

The third course was the highlight was linguini with komatsuna and shirako and . . . wait for it . . . topped with shaved white truffles. It was very good without the truffles with the pasta being the star, but a generous helping of the truffles [2600 supplement] put it over the top.

Fourth was a small portion risotto with some more white truffles, small amount for flavor, no supplement, and other mushrooms. Minor nit to pick here. I like my risotto a bit creamier than it was served, but I think it was exactly how the chef wanted to serve it.

Next was a small tartlet of foie gras and figs with a white sauce on the top. Not my favorite of the meal especially the abundance of sauce and not a big foie gras fan. However Pookie thought this was fantastic and she loves foie gras, so again a preference and I'd take her opinion.

Sixth and main course was venison. Now since we had just had venison at Restaurant J there was a chance to compare, and it was a split decision. I preferred J and Pookie preferred this venison. She said it was less salty at Il Ghiottone. To me it was a different cut of meat and I preferred the actual venison at J rather than the preparation. Still very good at this place.

Finally dessert. Pookie had a cheese souffle that was quite good based on the bite I had. Called a souffle, but wasn't really a souffle, but light like a souffle. I had their version of Tiramisu. It was interesting. It was mochi mixed it with some mascarpone cheese and then the powdered chocolate on top. I think if you really like mochi this would be a huge hit.

A truly great meal from start to finish. If I had to find fault it would be with the room itself. A very odd shape, and we changed from the first table we sat at that had us both looking at the front door. There were a lot of tables that I would not have wanted in the room based on the layout. Service was good, but not on a par with the food, but they did have some nice touches like matching the wine glasses with the wine selected.

We will definitely be back there again in a two or three months.

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  1. I've long wondered about this place. I have a cookbook the owner made and almost everything in it looks great, he says his cooking is a blend of Italian and Kyoto temple (shojin) cooking.