Perched on the 36th floor of the ANA InterContinental Hotel, the new Pierre Gagnaire Tokyo features a sophisticated interior with fantastic views of the city. The earth-toned palate is stylishly subdued, and the oversized couchettes are invitingly cushy.
Dishes are beautifully presented and full of dynamic contrasts. At lunch, the Cocktail de Poche appetizer is a colorful spread of small plates - a foamy broth sprinkled with salty cubes of Jamon Iberico and peas, finely chopped marinated mushrooms alongside sliced octopus, a whipped blob of rabbit rillette laced with rosemary.
The main course, too, is a multi-item affair. A perfectly juicy pork chop, offset by a vibrant slaw of red cabbage, thinly sliced chorizo and cilantro, comes with a terrine of pork trotter and tongue, wedged into a pillowy squid-ink potato mousseline.
The current dinner menu offers a special "Homage to Tokyo," a shiso-scented veloute of tairagai and spinach with sake-steeped cucumbers, a crepe filled with uni and nori butter, and a gelee based on soba dipping sauce with baby clams.
Pierre Gagnaire Tokyo is the Michelin three-starred chef's second venture in the capital, and his head chef is the able Olivier Chaignon, who has worked with him in London, Paris and Tokyo since 2002. Gagnaire will be on site three times a year to design new menus for each season and oversee operations.
Prix-fixe lunches are Y6,000-10,000; dinners Y18,000 to Y23,000 (plus 10% service). There's also a Y3800 "express lunch" on weekdays. Jackets are recommended.
by Melinda Joe
This book will introduce you to more than twenty of Japan's favorite specialty foods that are less well known abroad, along with a guide to the best places in Tokyo to try them and expert tips on what to order. From Bento.com.