Le Petit Tonneau
Toranomon: French
Le Petit Tonneau (Toranomon: French)
Le Petit Tonneau
Open 11:30am-2:30, 6-10pm (LO). Closed Sundays.

If you want to, you can think of Le Petit Tonneau as a wine bar. They serve more than twenty different wines by the glass and a few dozen more by the bottle, with Cotes du Rhone, Languedoc, Bordeaux and Bourgogne all well represented. The menu includes fairly detailed descriptions of each wine in Japanese, and the friendly, multilingual waiters are ready to offer suggestions if you ask. The restaurant imports the wines directly, which keeps the prices down - glasses range from Y900-1,500, and many bottles are under Y6,000.

Le Petit Tonneau's food menu features hearty fare like Bouillabaisse, Braised Beef Cheek in Red Wine, and classic Steak Frites. The duck confit is done to perfection (with very crisp skin and moist meat that falls away from the bone) and it's served with world-class fried potatoes (soft enough to melt in the mouth). There's a superb, down-home-style stewed lamb with white beans that goes very well with the excellent Cotes de Rhone Villages wine. Even something as simple as the endive salad is prepared lovingly, with bits of herbs, crisp bacon and crunchy croutons.

If you're in the mood for something a bit fancier you can opt for the Special Menu - it includes five signature dishes of Chef Batton (items like foie gras with daikon in an orange and five-spice sauce), plus dessert, and it's a relative bargain at Y8,000. Otherwise, two courses (appetizer plus main) are Y4,500, four courses are Y5,700, and everything is available a la carte, including the chef's specials. A selection of calvados, brandy and eaux de vie is served after dinner, and the cheese platter is small but first-rate.

Reservations are recommended. There is some outdoor seating, under an overhanging roof. (Note that there is a cover charge of Y350 per person.)

Minato-ku, Toranomon 2-1-1.

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Venue listing from Bento.com5 Star Rating: highly recommended