Ushigome-Kagurazaka: Pizzeria
Carmine (Ushigome-Kagurazaka: Pizzeria)
Open 11:30am-2, 6-9pm (LO) daily.
Sun: Open Sundays

Carmine is an old-fashioned neighborhood pizzeria, with small tables decked out in red checkered tablecloths, walls covered with travel and food posters, and a kitchen turning out good, solid Italian fare at reasonable prices.

The four-course lunch is a great deal, especially if you have a hearty appetite. A very appetizing array of starters is followed by a hefty pizza or pasta, then a meat or fish course, dessert and coffee. There's a wide choice of pizzas and pastas (basically anything on the dinner menu), though only one meat and one fish dish per day. Alternatively you can order a smaller lunch with just pizza or pasta.

The pizza menu offers ten different traditional pizzas plus calzone (which the menu refers to as "folded pizza"), with popular varieties like Calabrese (spicy salami, chili peppers and bell peppers), 4 Formaggi, and Tonnata (tuna, onions, olives and capers). The restaurant's recommendation is the Ortolana, which is built on a Margherita base topped with an impressive helping of vegetables, including eggplant, zucchini, paprika, mushrooms and artichokes.

Lasagna and other pasta dishes widen your carb choices at dinnertime, while meaty main dishes include lamb chops, spicy roast chicken alla diavolo, and beef cheeks stewed in red wine.

The small wine list starts at around Y5,000 per bottle, with maybe a dozen choices altogether. Grappa, amaro, Sambuca and limoncello await you after dinner.

Budget around Y4,000-5,000 for food and drink at dinnertime; lunch is priced Y1,300-2,300.

by Robb Satterwhite

Shinjuku-ku, Saikumachi 1-19.

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Venue listing from Bento.com4 Star Rating: recommended