Va Bene's casual ground-floor bar is a convivial spot to enjoy some scrumptious meaty snacks along with a glass of wine or two. The assorted appetizer plate (Y980) is a perfect match for a robust Italian red, and our platter featured a rich, almost buttery liver mousse that was one of the highlights of our day. Other wine-friendly starters include spicy tripe stew, horsemeat tartar and sauteed octopus with mushrooms.
The bar offers a dozen or more wines by the glass (from Y480) and another forty by the bottle (Y2,900-15,000). The list covers the globe - Italy, France, Chile, Spain - plus a huge selection of domestic Japanese wines. They also have a few Japanese craft beers on tap, but the wine list is much more interesting and seems better suited to the food.
The main section of Va Bene's menu focuses on charcoal-grilled Hokkaido beef and other meats, along with pastas and Italian-inspired vegetable dishes. There's a full-fledged dining room up on the second floor if you decide to make a night of it. Budget around Y3000-4000 for dinner with drinks.
This book will introduce you to more than twenty of Japan's favorite specialty foods that are less well known abroad, along with a guide to the best places in Tokyo to try them and expert tips on what to order. From Bento.com.