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The curiosity of the Japanese leads them to have an extraordinary ability to listen and understanding. Keisuke Kuroda was in Italy in the late ’80s, he was trained under Giorgio Pinchiorri in Florence, honing his knowledge in terms of wine. He took away the secrets of the big restaurant business and then started his own place in Japan, opening the Kurodino restaurant, followed by Kurodino 2. We are on the sixth floor of a building in the heart of the Ginza district, with refined ambiance and contrasting light and dark colors. The dishes are well presented and executed, even just a simple spaghetti cacio e pepe, with perfect sauces that accompany the meats. The wine list is for true connoisseurs, with many French labels and lots of mature Italians. Strict conservation as well as wine service are made with love.

Before making pizza, Peppe Erricchielo enjoyed throwing hankies in the air. In Tokyo he worked as dishwasher, pizza chef and finally opened his own place in 2011 in Kamiyacho, in the shadow of the Tokyo Tower. Success was immediate, and since 2015 his pizzeria doubled with a new opening in Komazawa. He imports tomato, fior di latte and bufala cheese directly from Battipaglia with an ad hoc brand. With Napoli football jerseys and mufflers on the walls, you’ll enjoy the best pizza in town. The rim is thick and perfectly shaped; the crust is soft, light and very digestible. Don’t miss the pizza Don Salvo, star-shaped and half margherita, half calzone. Pasta starters are equally good, with paccheri cooked to Neapolitan perfection.

Heinz Beck’s Japanese location is humming at full speed. The credit goes to a well-honed team headed by young, talented Giuseppe Molaro. From Campania, he has found his place in the sensibility and ingredients of Japan. The setting is elegant and refined – classic fine dining – decorated in contrasting dark and light tones. The menu includes some of Beck’s signature dishes and other recipes created especially for the Tokyo venue. All pure Beck style: modern, light and tasty, renewing great Italian tradition from raw materials selected with care and treated with love.

 

Among the classics, we loved the carbonara fagottelli. Do not miss the matcha tea granita with sea urchins and goat’s cheese mousse and the delicious eel with pine needles, eggplant and mushrooms. The wine list meets the kitchen standard. One tip? Leave room for dessert or you’re going to regret it.

Tokyo can easily surprises you. There’s always a small city into a city. That’s what we were thinking when we reached this elegant restaurant and enoteca in the relaxed atmosphere of Omotesando district. Riva degli Etruschi uses an independent two-story house and offers an authentic Tuscan cuisine, with very complex flavors and luxurious garnish. The signature dish is a delicious roasted pork  with cream of leek and black truffle, but also potato and ricotta cheese ravioli is a good choice. The service is very professional and friendly, while the extensive wine list has also a Tuscan soul.

 

The name of this trattoria in the neighborhood that never sleeps in Tokyo – Roppongi – takes us to Friuli, and straight to a wine label. The two acres of the Cormòns Vigna del mondo grows more than 500 grape varieties. The label is painted every year by great artists and sent as a message of peace to political and religious leaders around the world. This is the realm of Kazuo Naito and his sensible wine palate. After living a long time in Italy, he opened this no-frills eatery with a beautiful selection of Italian wines, and excellent pasta dishes like the pappardelle with snails and chanterelles, and grilled meats cooked to perfection.

This is our favorite Italian wine bar in Tokyo. The entrance is like that of a classic wine bar, but inside, meticulous Japanese attention to detail and research in the selection of the Italian wines is evident. About twenty wines by the glass are listed, many of them real gems – the owners have a passion for small producers and natural wines. Plates of cured meats and cheeses are on hand, and downstairs, guests can sit down for a traditional dinner. Italian producers often show up to present their wines.

Chef Hayato Takahashi worked at a restaurant in Emilia Romagna, felt in love with the flavors and the vibes of the region, then he decided to move back to Tokyo. He opens a super tiny and cozy restaurant which has been really consistent in terms of quality. He uses a very unique system. All 6 guests (again, it’s a really small place) start dinner at 19:30, and enjoy watching how the chef cooks home-made pasta, slice Prosciutto di Parma, and cooks other tasty specialties in front of the guests. He also offers the perfect matching of bio wines to each dish. This is an experience.

Luca Fantin’s talent owed the 2015 nomination for his Bulgari restaurant at the Ginza Tower. His inspired hand, his ingredient-driven seasonal cuisine that cleverly sources extraordinary Japanese ingredients save for the excellent olive oil, Parmigiano and Carnaroli rice. His talent betrays Luca’s training under Italy’s best chefs, such as Cracco, Marchesi and Heinz Beck in Rome. The risotto – which betrays Luca’s Veneto origins ¬– is one of the best we tried in the last few years. Equally tantalizing are his spaghetti single origin wheat by Felicetti with sea urchin or with cuttlefish ink and aoriika. Save room for the sublime desserts, such as the chocolate variations and the flavour-inspired techniques. The wine list is deep and classic, featuring grand Italian and French wine estates in the lead.

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