Ebisu has a rich and fascinating history of fallen men and women, bewitched by Eros, Bacchus and formidable Ebisu himself. How fitting therefore, Gentle Reader, that your Humble Correspondent found himself wandering its back streets in search of Bevitrice.
How might it be possible that this comely and captivating destination has escaped my attention for the last 13 years? I am told by my betters that bevitrice is Italian for a "woman who drinks a lot". My choice of companion on this happy evening, alas, was neither female, Italian, nor a dipsomaniac. Truth to tell, he was English (promise you won't tell anyone!) - a lordling, and gentile. Of all the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune ... your suffering Explorer-Gallant had failed to even negotiate the first hurdle. Why couldn't I have found a fallen woman, or at least a flopsy?
We opened with an Anselmi Capitel Croce 2006 which is a splendid wine, and my first experience of Garganega done well outside of Soave. The Lordling and I decided to trust ourselves to the Prix-Fixe @ Y6,300, but negotiated some slight deviations off the carta.
The charming floor staff offered an Amuse of some home-smoked ham served over a nut mix. Immediately, the Lordling and I knew we were on to something here. Attention to detail, fine balance of flavors, elegant delivery, and a touch of innovation!
Chef followed up with a Tuscan white bean soup. Oh, ♪ Swing Low Sweet Chariot ♪ ... carry me away to Lucca. A hint of lardo. A dreamy, creamy consistency. Mouth-ready, not too hot and not too tepid. For our next course, I had chosenthe antipasta mista and the Lordling was gnawing on a fulsome house Foie gras terrine. Excellent, excellent! The wine was working its magic, and I was beginning to see the flopsiness inherent in my companion.
On to primi - I had chosen the Fettecinitti and he the Porcini Risotto, both of which were outstanding dishes. It was time for some Italian red: we chose Vino nobile di Montepulciano poliziano 2004 as our Elysian poison, and noble indeed it was - so when the Lordling's Beef Cheeks and my Tuscan pork found their way to the table for a brief stay as secondo, your Humble Correspondent found it difficult to choose. My simple solution: alternate mouthfuls of pork, and wine until the porcine perfection was gone and I had received more than my fair entitlement of the beverage.
We rounded out the me with some cheese for me (parmigiana, wash, amaretto) and Zuppa di Iglese for him [which he wittily described as very English and not very zuppa!]. Delightful!
Visit Bevitrice with hordes of dipsomaniacal flopsies, or with good friends - you won't be disappointed with either the food, the pleasant service, or the wine. And if you hear a quiet giggling coming from the cellar, throw me a bone!
Bevitrice: 1-16-29 Ebisu, Shibuya Ward, tel: (03) 3443-2313
Rating: Food: 8; Wine: 7; Service: 8; Ambiance: 8; Price: 7 ($). Total 38/50