Grape Choice: Ebisu
!Grape Choice
Ebisu / Wine bar
Hiroo 5-22-3, Hiroo Nishigawa Bldg B1F. [on the right side of Meiji-dori going towards Hiroo/ Tengenjibashi]
Open 6pm-2am (LO). Closed Sundays.
late: Open late

It's a bit of a trek from the station to this dining bar on the border of Ebisu and Hiroo, but wine lovers will find it well worth the walk. The wine list boasts over 250 varieties from around the world - Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and even one from Lebanon - including an impressive selection from California and the Pacific Northwest. Prices by the bottle range from moderate (Y4800 for NV Sokol Blosser Evolution No. 12) to extravagant (Y210,000 for '79 Petrus). Around six wines are available by the glass; selections change daily.

The food menu bills itself as "Japanese-French," and features a number of tasty dishes to accompany the wine. Crispy croquettes filled with oozy, gelatinous pig's feet offer a delightful contrast of textures (Y600). Charcoal-grilled Hoei pork from Hokkaido comes with a small dish of mild vinegar and fresh organic vegetables. The fat from the succulent lamb chop with thyme is removed and grilled separately. Meat can be ordered in two sizes: regular or half portions.

The space is elegant and intimate, service professional but unpretentious. The small private rooms seem to be the default option for seating; there's also a comfortable counter overlooking the kitchen area plus a few more tables.

by Melinda Joe