you don"t need to save the crystal for a special day, even water tastes better in a "Fancy Glass"

Monday, May 02, 2005

Fancy Glass RR (restaurant review)

Ambrosia Nakameguro
4-4-4-202 Nakameguro Meguro-ku Tokyo 153-0061

Near our apartment in Nakameguro, A new café restaurant opened up last month. We decided to try it out on Fri. evening last week. After a nice stroll up the street we made it to Ambrosia. With outside seating, and it being a warm evening, we were quite happy to take a table for two outside.

It was very slow, only one or two other tables of guests and one noisy, obnoxious party of women inside it was a perfect spot for relaxing with chris after work. Funny for people watching though… as it is right down the street from a Sento, or Japanese public bathhouse. So as we sat out having our dinner we saw the parade of elderly Japanese and college students, carrying their toiletries bag and going to and from their nightly bath.

First course we shared a Caprese Salad. (easy recipe below) The tomatoes were pretty tasty, and the pesto was nice, but the mozzarella was a bit grainy and not that good. Still nice presentation and they brought us cute little bowls to share the main dish. The staff was very attentive. I had a real Wilkinson Ginger Ale (the dry kind, not sweet.)

Chris ordered the duck with orange sauce and I had a grilled lamb dish. Both had very similar sauces, not to fantastic, but the meat was cooked perfectly in both dishes. The Sauces were too much the same… but all in all a good meal.

We wanted to stay for dessert, but the obnoxious party inside was so loud that we decided to go buy some pastry at the grocery store and have decaf tea and a sweet something at home.

on a 1-5 (5 being top marks)
Atmosphere- 2.5 nothing to write home about, but clean, new and a bit chic. Will probably not age well, but looks good now. I think it will be a very nice atmosphere for café time. They seem to have a nice café menu.
Food = 3 / good for a neighborhood joint. Well prepared dishes, and very aesthetic as well.
Dessert = ? never had a chance to try because of the noisy party girls… I mean they were really really noisy. Hopefully next time
Service = 4 good attentive staff. Quick and efficient. The guy needed a hair cut. To me, long and shaggy does not work in a restaurant.
Will I go back? Probably, but there are other places in the neighborhood I would like to try first.

Insalata Caprese Salad
(Mozzarella, Tomato & Basil Plate)
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 large ripe tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 cup fresh basil leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons drained capers (optional)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

In a circular design around the side of a serving plate, alternate fresh mozzarella slices on a large platter (or on individual plates if you are doing individual portions) with sliced tomatoes, overlapping for effect. Tear fresh basil leaves and sprinkle liberally over the slices. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Sprinkle capers over the top.

Just before serving, drizzle on some excellent extra-virgin olive oil. NOTE: Insalata Caprese should never be allowed to sit in oil for any length of time and become soggy. And no vinegar of any kind goes on Insalata Caprese!

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