While Marugo's laid-back modern interior recalls Manhattan, the tuxedo-clad staff is pure Tokyo. But don't let appearances fool you: the service is mannerly and attentive but never stuffy at this popular Shinjuku 3-chome spot. Choose from about fifteen wines by the glass or bottle, or pick a Latour or Mouton from the back and put it on your expense account. France is amply represented, with biodynamic wines comprising nearly half of the choices on the frequently changing list.
Small plates of olives, anchovy-avocado canapes, and cheeses start at 500 yen; earthy tripe stew and creamy pork and duck liver pate go for about Y700. You can order something more substantial - grilled lamb chops, pasta, or pizza - if you're feeling really peckish. On the fifth of every month the bar features a special selection of premium wines hailing from its namesake, Margaux. Menu in Japanese only, but a little English spoken.
by Melinda Joe
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.