My “much better half” once again researched through the Tabelog Web Site & found a terrific option for Italian Dining in Tokyo. The Trattoria Della Lanterna Magica comes well recommended by Japanese Bloggers (on Tabelog) who encourage carefully planned reservations and readiness for a great time. We called on Monday for a Friday Reservation Slot. The only available table allowed a 9 PM dinner appointment. This improved to a 7:30 in the evening when Kurashima San (the Lanterna magica Manager) called my wife’s cell phone inviting us to come earlier. We were beneficiaries of cancellations. The personal touch continued from our arrival where we were enthusiastically greeted & escorted to our table until exiting the home like structure to a taxi ordered by the restaurant.
The tables are well bused, waiters are knowledgeable of wines (we went off the menu) & recommended daily specials were a universal hit. We asked our waiter to assemble Assorted Antipasto from a fresh list promoted on a color chalk board & presented at our table. It was the best part of the evening as the vegetables, shell fish and spiced fresh fish combinations worked well with a Sicilian Barocco Avide. (This lovely red wine was hard earned after a serious week treading water in the Ebb & Flow of Tokyo Business.) The thick pasta made fresh at the tavern, Borchini Risotto and Spicy Grilled Chicken Diavola were memorably delicious. My Lady adds the caveat that most dishes sampled edged to the salty side of the scale. She feels it’s a conscious strategy to encourage wine and beer sales. (That’s our story and we’re sticking to it.)
The menu can be better enjoyed shared as waiters offer everyone the option of splitting orders. Dividing & parceling out food is natural to Japanese Diners and the Trattoria efforts were welcomed by most of our neighbors. You will be aware of other diners at the Tavern. The nicely decorated architecture creates a natural sound chamber that resonates thru your bones. As the evening progressed with wine induced levity, most people found themselves raising voices to unusual levels when simply talking to friends & colleagues at their table. “Did I say it was loud?” It’s a trendy place well hidden in Kamiosaki a short cab ride from Meguro Station. The Trattoria Della Lanterna Magica customers were ready for a good time and dressed up for the occasion. It’s frequented by groups of friends, business colleagues and families. (We didn’t see any children joining the late night restaurant crowd.)
Executive Summary: At the Trattoria Della Lanterna Magica you enjoy top class service comparable to the best restaurants anywhere, delicious selections prepared slightly on the salty side, and a more than adequate wine cellar. Be prepared for enough NOISE to cloak any delicate conversation. The Homey and Classy Tavern is located in the well healed urban community of Kamiosaki near Meguro Station. Prices reflect the high rent district. We will select and purchase wine from the published menu rather than leave it to the Sommelier next time as we don’t have an unlimited budget. “Que sera sera.”
Trattoria Della Lanterna Magica http://www.lanternamagica.jp/