Sunday, 17 September 2006

Basque-ing in the Atmosphere

17 Sep 2006

In the mood for some Basque and/or French provincial food? With so many establishments focusing on “French” food - meaning Parisian - in Tokyo, there are times when you’d think this is a Mission Impossible. But fear not! Try La pitchouli de Lou lou.

I ventured out to this charming little spot with a friend (The Ad Guy) known for enjoying the finer things in life. The restaurant doesn’t open until 7:00 p.m., but I’d book if I were you as it enjoyed a brisk turnover of tables and eye candy. It was sometimes difficult to keep my companion’s attention on the food and the conversation. Being our first visit, we left the menu up to the “chef”.

We tried the Home-Made Country-Style Pate (自家製田舎風パテ), followed by a Green Salad featuring organic vegetables from Yamanashi Prefecture (山梨県有機野菜のグリーン・サラダ). At this point, a note on the wine: while the selection is small and the prices very reasonable, don’t go looking for famous chateau. The point of La pitchouli de Lou lou is to enjoy the food and the company! You can go for glasses or bottles (huh! Not me...)

The next dish was Loligo Frit (小ヤリイカのフリッツ), a provincial squid fritte dish delicious with salt and the Chablis. This was followed by the piece-de-resistance, Homemade Sausage (自家製ソーセージのロースト). There wasn’t enough of this for two known trenchermen, and I ended up threatening the Ad Guy with a fork to get the last piece.

But wait...the home-made Stewed Salted Pork Back Ribs served Crumby Baked (sic!) (自家製塩漬け豚バラ肉煮込みのパン粉焼き). This is heavenly if you like Iberico Pork like I do, served country style celebrating flavor rather than presentation! Again, a battle for the last piece and I was beginning to regret offering to share all the dishes. The red wine, served in appropriate quantities (2 bottles), seemed to compliment the pork delightfully.

In summary, a good place for a reasonable two or three hours of fine food, good wine, and better company. Take a friend rather than a lover, and ask for the sausage!

Rating: Food: 7/10; Wine: 6/10; Ambience: 7/10; Service: 8/10; Price: 8/10. Total: 36/50 (3 Forks)
La Pitchouli de Lou lou (Don’t blame me for the spelling!)
Ebisu 2-23-3. Open 7pm-3am. Closed Mondays. Tel: 3440-5858 Map Japanese Website

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