As an early birthday celebration to me, we wanted to go somewhere nice to eat. We love Tokyo’s selection of fine Italian restaurants because they are delicious, fairly simply, usually do not rely on heavy butter or cream, and are some of the most affordable Michelin-starred options in the city.
On this occasion, we chose Casa Vinitalia, an establishment in Azabu Juban (or 15 minute walk from Hiro Station) that’s fairly easy to find thanks to its location near a major intersection. Upon entering this elegantly simple restaurant, it is immediately apparent that they focus a great deal of attention on their wine selection. Wine bottles adorn the staircase used to access the main dining room, are used as decoration all around the restaurant, and the wine bottle is a thick, binded book of sorts. We are by no means wine experts, so the staff were very accommodating in serving us wine by the glass based on our amateurish preferences (“Not too dry,” “Something fruity,” etc.).
Casa Vinitalia’s interior is beautiful in it’s white and sea green simplicity. Every table in the main dining room centers around an open patio with lots of greenery. Though we visited on a sweltering summer day, there is plenty of air conditioning in the open room to feel comfortable, while still enjoying the view. It feels as if you’ve stepped out of Tokyo and into a coastal Italian restaurant for a couple hours.
The food offers some of the best cost performance I’ve experienced in Tokyo’s fine dining options. For 8100 yen INCLUDING tax and service charge, the course menu is long and very generously portioned. The course menu is, however, not a set menu. Every customer is given plenty of options to design the course that best suits their preferences. Indeed, from a choice of sauces for the starting bagna cauda to the number of grams for the final,”simple” pasta before dessert (30, 60, or 100 grams), there are so many options that it actually gets kind of confusing. Sometimes it’s nicer to just sit back and let the chef make these kinds of decisions. Still, the warm staff is more than willing to help in choices.
After plenty of drinks, a supplement of bagna cauda sauce, and with very stuffed bellies, we walked out having paid far less than 25,000 yen. Highly recommended.
Let’s eat Casa Vinitalia!