Friday, September 20, 2013

Café Mozart カフェ モーツアルト 022-263-4689


Address:  仙台市青葉区一番町3-11-14 丸和ビル3F.   Located on Ichibancho between Chuo-dori and the Forus Department Store, on the third floor in the building next to the KFC.

Map:  Scroll down below.

Open everyday from 11:30 am to 11 pm, but lunch lasts only till 2:30 pm.

Okay, so I’m a little late in posting this one.  But some time ago while enjoying the Pre-Aoba Matsuri festivities, I decided to search for a new eatery for this blog.  I strolled around Chuo-dori and Ichibancho looking for that hidden gem that I had yet to experience.  Most of the restaurants I saw seem to violate my rule of "less means delicious" when it came to their advertising.  Most places went with loud and flashy, trying to attract attention, which probably meant that they're not very good.  I saw two young ladies perusing a small, indiscreet blackboard sign, and all three caught my eye (for different reasons).

Café Mozart possesses a very casual and comfy atmosphere   The theme of the cafe seems to be that there is no theme at all None of the furniture matches.  Separated into two different dining areas, there are a few coffee tables with relaxing looking armchairs, a sofa, and also a piano.  In the section I was sitting in I saw ten different types of tables, including long tables for a group or for individuals to share.   

On this day, the lunch menu provided only three options:  a shrimp, squid, and mushroom cream pasta (Yuck!  I don’t do squid or cream.  I’m a picky eater!).  A bacon with cream cheese sandwich (I don’t like cream cheese).  And a basil chicken pasta with vegetables.  I went with the third option for 900 yen, which came with the pasta, salad, and a beverage I also splurged for dessert and chose the chocolate cake for an additional 250 yen.


The pasta was light, buttery, and tasty.  I especially enjoyed the crisp yet tender chickpeas disbursed among the pasta And speaking of tender, the slightly seasoned chicken melted in my mouth!  My only complaint would be that the succulent chicken was not in abundance.
The salad, due to its very pleasing sesame dressing, was quite refreshing.

The chocolate cake had a walnutty taste with a hint of sweetness to it, and by itself was just okay.  But when I mixed it with the accompanying cocoa powder, chocolate sauce, raspberry sauce, and the whipped cream, it was delicious!
This went extremely well with the rich, flavorful coffee.


A fine selection of coffees, teas, and desserts are also on the menu.

All in all, I’d say that this was a very light meal that, with the dessert, satisfied my hunger.

There are a number of other Café Mozarts in Sendai, so this review pertains only to the one on Ichibancho.

This Café Mozart seems to attract a younger crowd, as I noticed that I was the oldest one in the place, but this seems to be a great place to take a break from the shopping crowds and enjoy a coffee or a light meal no matter what your age.

Hmm.  I saw this on the menu but I'm not sure what this coffee tastes like.  

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

I’d just like to mention a few things …

First, I would like to thank you for reading A Picky Eater’s Guide to Sendai Grub.  This has been a labor of love for almost two years now, and I knew when creating this blog that my target audience of English speakers interested in Sendai eateries would be quite limited.
So imagine my surprise last week when I realized that I broke through the 20,000 hit barrier, with almost half of those from Japan.
Thank you so much!
Please continue reading and sending me your restaurant recommendations.  I truly appreciate it!

Now on to the foodie part …
I would like to give a special shout-out to La Pousa Restaurant on the top of the SS30 Building in downtown Sendai.  We organized a surprise birthday party for one of my best friends, Yvonne, last weekend and I was really happy that the restaurant provided a cake free of charge for the occasion.  That was a very nice touch!

I’m happy to report that this coming weekend, Friday, September 13th to Sunday, September 15th, my favorite Happy Happy Melon Pan Truck  will be offering its baked buns of heaven in its regular spot in front of Daiei Department Store.  

And if you still have a sweet tooth, Baskin-Robbins 31 Ice Cream Double Scoop 31% discount campaign runs from September 13th till the 23rd.

The bigger, better, brasher Oktoberfest is making a return engagement to Nishikichō koen from Friday, September 13th till Monday, September 23rd.  Sure you had a preview of what Japanese beer guzzling is like when the smaller, tamer beerfest came in June, but the September event is usually larger and livelier.
I tried the following link and clicked on the upper right-hand corner to download coupons for this event, but it wouldn't let me login, even with a password.  Maybe you might have better luck.

However, if you’re really in the mood for German food and drink at a cheaper price, just walk on down Jozen-ji dori to one of my favorites:  Brunenheim!

Again, thank you for reading!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Pizzeria Padrino del Shozan ピッツェリア パドリーノ デル ショーザン 022-213-9220


Address:  仙台市青葉区上杉2-1-50 勝山間1F.   Located about a 15-minute walk from Kita-Yōbancho Subway Station.

Map:  Scroll down below.

Lunch:  11:30 am – 2 pm.   Dinner:  5:30 pm – 10 pm.  Closed Mondays.

I was really excited about dining here considering this restaurant was recommended to me almost two years ago by a number of acquaintances, but until this particular day I was unable to fit it in.
This pizzeria was originally situated inside the Shozankan Wedding Palace but has since relocated to being adjacent to the palace as of August of this year.
Padrino is one of the few Sendai restaurants to offer outside dining, although the majority of tables are inside.  And about the inside; the interior is beautifully decorated creating a very pleasant eating experience.
The service was impeccable, as we were offered water outside on a hot day while waiting to be seated.  And wait we did, for about twenty-minutes, as the place seems to be very popular.  We were also given detailed menus while waiting, and since they offer a wide variety of pizzas, it was nice to peruse each selection and decide on our meals even before entering.
For the starter, my wife and I shared a Componata (680 yen), cold stewed vegetables in a tomato sauce dressing.  This went very well on such a hot day and tasted delicious.  This place looked promising!


I went with a Margherita Pizza with cherry tomatoes (1200 yen), and paid extra for the rucola (300 yen) and ham (500 yen) toppings.

マルゲリータ フィレットとルコラと生ハム

My wife went with a basic Margherita Pizza (1000 yen).  All pizzas are 28 cm in diameter, and our pizzas arrived looking fantastic!  Upon first bite, I thought, “Hmm. Not bad, but I bet it gets better.”  I kept tasting and tasting and, no, I was wrong.  It didn’t get any better.  In fact, I really started to notice its shortcomings.  


The proscuitto ham was good, but almost a little too salty.  The rucola and cherry tomatoes did not have the same freshness of the veggies at amo la Pizza.  And the mozzarella cheese was pretty tasteless, and almost seemed to become rubbery as the pizza began to cool down.  
The crust had a bit of flavor, but I would rank Shiogama’s Pizza La Gita and, of course, the aforementioned amo way above in the flavor department.
But because the restaurant was packed, I wondered if it was my pickiness that was causing me to be so critical.  I asked my normal-eater wife what she thought of Padrino, and her response was, “I don’t think we need to come back here again.”
So that pretty much summed it up.
There is a paid parking lot available across the street, and Padrino presented us with a service ticket that covered the entire cost of the parking, which was a nice gesture.
I do think you should try this for yourself, as many others seem to enjoy  Padrino.  Please let me know if you have a differing opinion of this restaurant.

**I must apologize for the not-so-perfect photos.  I had forgotten my camera this day and these photos were taken with my wife's ketai.

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