Friday, August 24, 2012

Rigoletto リゴレット タパスラウンジ 022-716-0678

Address: 仙台市青葉区中央1-6-1.   Located across the street from the AER Building in between Hirose-dori and Chuo-dori.
Map:  Scroll down to the bottom.
Open 7 days a week 11:30 am – 4:00 am.
Wow!  Just came back from having a great meal at Rigoletto.  If you've been a Sendaiite for longer than a week I'm sure you've sauntered past their plastic canopy and peeked into their inviting dining area.  I had been there before sometime back for a company enkai, and at that time I thought, “For enkai food, this is really delicious.”  I also remember the service being top-notch, which doesn’t always happen at a large establishment.  My friend, Tony, had told me that he had dined here for lunch and thought that it was pretty good.
Due to circumstances unforeseen my wife and I ended up at Rigoletto as the restaurant we intended to go to was unavailable.  What a pleasant happenstance it turned out to be.  We arrived just a little after 5 pm, which was a good thing considering that there is a cover charge of 300 yen per person after 6 pm.

For our appetizer we requested a small size of the sliced ham (800 yen) and for the main courses we ordered a pizza and a pasta and split them.   We went with the basics:  a small 6-inch Margherita pizza (950 yen) and the Bolognase (sic) pasta (900 yen).
When the ham appetizer came I immediately realized that small means small, as six small slices of ham were presented with a bottle of olive oil.  The salty, paper-thin sliced ham was reminiscent of Venice except that tonight’s ham was a bit tougher than what I ate in Italy, but still it was quite tasty, and quickly finished.

Jamon Serrano

Next came the Margherita pizza.  My first impressions on biting into this pie were that of lightness and non-greasiness, the exact opposite of a Pizza Hut pizza.  Rigoletto’s pizza was scrumptious with the crust being especially flavorful, almost like a tasty naan that can be eaten by itself without any curry.  My only complaint was that after finishing this pizza I thought that I should have ordered the larger 10-inch serving as this felt like an appetizer.

Margherita Pizza 

I was a bit surprised when our Bolognese pasta arrived:  first at the dwarfish serving, and secondly, by the thick, long noodles.  The pasta only comes in one size:  piccolo, and can be finished off in a couple of mouthfuls.  The accompanying meat sauce was very good but I would have rather been served the traditional spaghetti noodles.

Bolognase (sic) Pasta

So after the small ham appetizer, the small Margherita pizza, and the small serving of pasta, we were still hungry!  I ordered another small Salsiccia Pizza (sausage, mushroom, onion, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese) for an additional 1000 yen.  I assumed this would have tomato sauce as its base, but to my surprise it did not.  Still, the pizza was gratifying, having been filled with an abundance of mushrooms, onions, and sausage.  The onions had a pleasant sweetness to them and, again, the crust was wonderful.  After this, we were full.

Salsiccia Pizza

I’m looking forward to our next visit to Rigoletto, but next time I think I’ll order the appetizer that comes with five varieties of ham and I’ll be sure to order a large pizza off the bat.  This is a rather large restaurant with two floors to accommodate its guests.  We were able to get in without a reservation but I don’t know how you’d fare on a busy afternoon or evening.  The service was great and for the price I thought that it was quite reasonable.  As a small bonus the menus are also in English.  I think you’d enjoy an evening of fine Italian dining at Rigoletto.

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