4 dinners in Kyoto
Below is a long list of places I am considering for my 4 nights in Kyoto. Does anyone have any great recommendations from the list below (or any additional options)? I'd rather not spend upwards of JPY12,000-15,000 pp for dinner. Thanks!
Bassano del Grappa
Giro Giro Hitoshina
Tosuiro Kiyamachi Honten
I love Ten-you. If you go for lunch, it's cheaper (though still not cheap). I've never made reservations, but have just arrived around the time of their opening and have had no problems being seated. It might be a good idea to make reservations, though. No English menu, as far as I know, but one of the wait staff speaks some English. They do get foreigners there sometimes.
I think their tempura is of much better quality than Yoshikawa, and as far as counter seating goes, Ten-you's atmosphere is nicer (in a Kyoto-way, which may seem too austere for some people). Best to sit at the counter rather than upstairs, though, because all the food is prepared at the counter (I think--I've never been upstairs).
Tenyou is great. So is the price. I thought Yoshikawa was better value, if not necessarily better.
Il Ghiottone is also great, but not sure it's worth all the fuss.
Kanga-an blew me away, and it's by far the best food and vibe I've found for that price - and don't miss the hidden bar.
Harise is a good choice for kaiseki - it's not one of the most high-profile joints, so it's good value (if there is such a thing as good value when you measure the meal in ichi-man notes).
Misoguigawa is unforgettable - especially if you go in summer and sit outside. It seems to capture everything that's great about Kyoto (the ingredients, the architecture, the craftmanship) without the snootiness that so often accompanies it. They pull off the French-Japanese thing brilliantly.
And if you can't afford Misoguigawa, Tamaki will do.
Nakahigashi sounds great, but getting a seat there is borderline impossible.