I venture, Gentle Reader, to suggest that Ebisu has a strangely Italian feel to it. Not the station area, of course, which is frenetically and savagely commuter-esque. But in the narrow side streets one feels a patina of casual enjoyment and genuine social interaction that reminds one of a piazza rather than a chome.
And so it is with Delizioso Italia. Feeling a little like a lordling on The Grand Tour, your Humble Correspondent dragged his portly frame to Ebisu 4-Chome to enjoy a meal with The Guru. As a historical aside, the sumptuous Biftek so much a part of contemporary Florentine cuisine was actually developed in Florence to accomodate these 17th and 18th Century English tourists who would spend one or two months among the Italo-English priviliged classes of Florence before heading on to Rome and points beyond. They needed beef, and lots of it.
This little trattoria had been recommended by Nick, of Wall Street fame, and I thought to humor him by taking a colleague there rather than someone important. Dear me! How fey of me ... how dismissive; how very, very poor form! Abject apologies and copious beers for Nick on our next assignation!
This is a splendid establishment with a bustling sense of busyness tending to mild panic that thrills the gastronome and invites exploration. Many of the guests are couples, deep in conversation with one another instead of the audience, and seriously trying to enjoy the evening. The restaurant "buzzes", with a sense of pleasure and an electricity that gradually draws you under its spell.
The Guru and I enjoyed three dishes each (yes, thus "portly"), all prepared with vigor and passion by a potentially superior chef, and delivered to table by an engaged and informed floor team. TG's Antipasto Mista might have fed a small barbarian horde, and my salad showed an excellent balance of texture and taste. The pastas were excellent, and the kitchen listened patiently to my peccadilloes about veal cutlet Limone before delivering a dish way beyond my expectations.
We also enjoyed a lovely bottle of San Gimignano Verdecchio that sang of the Tuscan spring, and some Italian beer that was appropriately chilled and served in small glasses rather than pint buckets [Note: English beers and ales should be drunk in larger glasses, but chilled beer tends to warm too quickly in tankards!].
I recommend taking a friend or lover to Delizioso Italia, or a colleague who understands your eccentricities. And should you see a Grand Tourist in the corner, Gentle Reader, raise a glass to toast the benefits of a classical education and a generous sponsor (yes, he paid!). I shall undoubtedly return the compliment!
Delizioso Italia: 1st Floor Lupinas Bldg, Ebisu 4-27-17, Shibuya Ward. t: 03-3440-5510
Rating: Food: 7/10; Wine: 7/10; Service: 7/10; Ambiance: 7/10; Price ($$): 7/10. Total: 35/50