Friday, April 27, 2012

Barbaresco Pizzeria – Café 022-722-2670

Address: 宮城県仙台市青葉区一番町1-9-1、仙台トラストタワー1F.  Sendai Trust Tower 1F, 1-9-1, Ichibancho, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi.  First floor of the new Westin Towers on Higashi-nibancho Dori across from the Kokusai Hotel and SS 30 Building.

Map:  Scroll down to the bottom.
Lunch:  11:30 am – 4:00 pm
Tea Time: 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Dinner:  5:00 pm – 10:30 pm
Sorry, no pictures today.  I forgot my camera.
Went in for lunch and walked out quite satisfied.  It was good, not great, but I still felt that it was worth the money and that Barbesco makes a nice choice for lunch when wanting something different.
Barbaresco offers a Pizza or Pasta Set Lunch.  Pizza lunches come with salad and coffee or tea, and range from 900 yen to 1300 yen.  Pasta lunches come with salad, small focaccia bread, and coffee or tea, and range from 900 yen to 1100 yen.
I ordered the Diavola (salami) Pizza Lunch Set and my wife chose the 自家製サルシッチャとひよこ豆のトマトソース スパゲッテッィ.  The menu’s translation states that all of the different pastas are “Spaghetti Carbonara with Anchovy & Broccoli,” but my wife’s pasta was meat sauce with garbanzo beans.  The pasta and the pizza were both a little salty but still not bad and the serving sizes were suitable.  For some unknown reason they served the pasta before they served the salad. 
The salad was nice in that none of that cheap, nutrition-less iceberg lettuce was used.  Instead, it was comprised of fresh green and red romaine lettuce, red onions in an Italian dressing.
The coffee was good and strong and tasted a little like espresso, which to me was a plus.  
As we walked in the restaurant we noticed the tempting desserts in the display case and early on decided on ordering dessert, though it did not come with the set lunch.   My wife ordered the banana-walnut tart which was tasty but had a hint of rum, which I don’t care for (I’m picky that way).  I went with the gateau chocolate cake which was quite good although it had a mint leaf and some type of cream on top, which I also didn’t appreciate.
It’s a big restaurant and it was quite packed when we walked in.  Also they have outdoor seating that I imagine to be quite nice with the weather warming up.  
I liked the fact that the lunch set is served until 4 pm, unlike many restaurants that stop at 2:30.  The service was good but they didn’t pre-cut the pizza.  I don’t know if the cook forgot to cut it or if that’s the way they serve it but we asked for a pizza cutter and the waitress came back and cut up the pizza herself.
If you’re a picky eater I think you’d enjoy Barbaresco!

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Pastime パスタイム 022-352-9502

Address:  仙台市太白区長町5-1-16みつはビル2F.  On the 2nd floor across the street from the Taihaku Library.  Very close to both Nagamachi Subway and JR Stations.  On the same side of the street as the JR station.

Map:  Scroll down to the bottom.

Open:  Lunch 11:30 am – 2:30 pm.                                                                   Tea Time  1:00 pm – 3:30 pm.                                                                             Dinner  6:00 pm – 9:30 pm. Closed Mondays.
Sometime back, way before I started this blog, I asked my friend Nozomi if she knew of any good restaurants in the Nagamachi area.   Without hesitation she said “Pastime!”  I heeded her recommendation and lunched here a couple of times, each time walking away satisfied.  
But tonight was the first time dining here for dinner.  And quite frankly, I think their dinner is better than their lunch.  
I was very impressed with their menu, as they offer quite a few selections of salads, hors d’oeuvres, pizzas, pastas, fish, and meat dishes to choose from.  Because of the variety, I had difficulty deciding which viande platter to order, as each one sounded scrumptious.


I went with the boiled beef in red wine (1000 ) while my wife ordered the fish of the day (1200 ).  For an additional 400 yen I ordered the “a” set which came with a green salad and bread (or rice).
My wife asked for a glass of red wine, and we were both surprised when she was served a big wine glass with a tiny amount of wine.  I’m really not sure if I’m an optimist or a pessimist, but either way that glass was definitely not half full nor half empty.  It was more ¾ empty and ¼ full.  Apparently, this was a sign of things to come.
The salad was … small, and mostly consisted of plain iceberg lettuce with a few slices of red and yellow bell peppers.  But the salad dressing was wonderful and made up for not having romaine or red leaf lettuce.

Oh, but the bread … the hot, homemade baguette … brilliant!
Our meals arrived and when I first laid eyes upon mine I thought, “Is that it?”   This looked like an appetizer but unfortunately it was my main dish.  My wife’s platter looked a little more filling, but not by much.  The saving grace was the taste … outstanding!  The beef was so soft I only used my fork to cut it (as advertised on the menu!) and it melted in my mouth.  The potato wedges were crisp and salted to perfection.  The cooked carrots sweet, and the red wine sauce delectable.
My wife savored her fish/shrimp platter and raved about the accompanying sauce.  She also enjoyed the taste of the red wine, but wishing it was more than just a sample serving.    


I recommend Pastime for its flavorful food, which I guess every restaurant should be judged by.   But I know next time I go there for dinner I’ll be ordering a pizza on the side to make it a filling meal.
And just for your info, they do have a stamp card plus a special わっしょい card for use in businesses in the Nagamachi 1-chome area.  For every 10,000you spend while presenting this card, you get a 500 discount.
There is no free parking nor do they offer vouchers for the parking lots that are nearby, but we only paid 200 for the parking.  Also, I noticed a piano in the restaurant, so I suspect that they offer live entertainment, although at the time I went there was none.

I'm definitely looking forward to sampling Pastime's pizzas and other meat dishes!

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Friday, April 13, 2012

UPDATE: Pancake & Café 38 Mitsubachi パンケーキ&カフィミツバチ

**Please check my previous post on Pancake & Café 38 Mitsubachi HERE for more information.

Address:  仙台市青葉区二日町12-25グランディプレステージ1F.  In between Kotodai-Koen Station and Kita-Yobancho Station on the same side as City Hall.

Map:  Scroll to the bottom.  

Open:  Tues. – Fri.  6 am – 6:30 pm        
Sat., Sun., Holidays they close at 6 pm.
Closed Mondays.

Since my last post about this restaurant I've returned a couple of times.  The coffee seems to have improved a little bit so that's a plus, but other than that not much has changed … they still serve delicious, light, fluffy hotcakes!  

But here's some more info on prices and varieties of pancakes.  I continue to go with the three buttermilk pancakes (12 cm) drink set (880 ) and for an extra 200 I have them add a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  My wife also continued with the two caramel banana pancakes drink set (1080 ) with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.

Caramel and Banana Pancakes
Buttermilk Pancakes with Vanilla Ice Cream

Here are the other flavors of pancakes they offer:
Walnut Pancakes
"I Love Berry" Pancakes
ふしぎなアリスのお城 Pancakes - Three pancakes with strawberry and vanilla ice cream, mixed berries, and topped with chocolate and raspberry sauce.
Rum Raisin Pancakes
Bacon and Egg w/Pancakes
Cheese Fondue Pancakes

I thought it was interesting that the staff felt it necessary to post signs requesting that each group of customers order at least one food dish.  I get from this that some people were just ordering drinks and sitting there taking up space.

If you try any of the other types of pancakes, please let me know how you liked them.

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Saturday, April 7, 2012

UPDATE: Café de Mieux カフェドミゥ 022-712-2455

**Please check my previous post on Café de Mieux HERE for more information.
Wow!  What a meal!  Then again, that’s always the case when you eat at Café de Mieux.
My wife and I actually ordered the same thing as I wrote about in my original post of this restaurant, so I didn’t take any photographs of the meal.  But like I mentioned before, the menu often changes here and so it did tonight.   Only one meat option was offered this evening and it was listed as chicken with anchovy sauce.  But since seafood and I don’t go well together I asked if there was anything they could do for me.  They served me the chicken with the mustard sauce that I love and it was fantastic!
As we were dining, a customer at the table next to ours was enjoying a chocolate tart and its wonderful aroma wafted through the air.   It was too tempting to pass up so I ordered it while my wife chose the ミル crepe pie.
But when I received my serving there was no whiff wafting, nor was there any ice cream that I had seen on the other man’s plate.  So I asked, “Where’s the ice cream?”  Apparently, you have to request for the tart to be heated, then they’ll slap on some ice cream.  But the kind proprietress soon returned with what I wanted and it was worth the wait!  It was wonderful!

Chocolate Tart

The deep, rich, flavorful coffee just added the perfect touch, and apparently the chai was aces, too!
You know that feeling when you've just finished an absolutely marvelous meal, well, that's the way we waddled out of there.
Thank you, again, Café de Mieux!

ミル Crepe Pie


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