Trattoria Tornavento, Nishi Azabu トラットリア トルナヴェント 西麻布

It was in a slight panic that I realised last Saturday night that I'd failed to book lunch for the next day. In a hurry, I turned to a trustworthy source - that of Mr Terry White, and turned up Tornavento. This purveyor of northern Italian style cuisine came with the highest of recommendations so it was with anticipation that I turned up with my dining partner for Sunday lunch.

Well, what a pleasure! The food was nothing short of superb, and I can strongly endorse Terry's recommendation. For 4,200 yen you can feast on an entrée, pasta, main, dessert and coffee. Wine by the glass is available and I partook of a nice Spumante to start and an excellent dry Tocai with my main. The entrée was a mixed plate of marinated mushroom, salad leaves, pâté, fried fish salad, white fish carpaccio and a delicious and generous slice of rare veal served with a tuna sauce. This went beautifully with their foccacia and breadsticks, which are to die for.

I selected the clam pasta and this came with spring cabbage and a disc shaped pasta stamped with a design - very unique and I think this variety is called croxetti, but stand ready to be corrected. The main event though was the lamb, which came rare, but not bloody and encrusted with toasted hazelnuts with fried potato and garlic on the side. Quite simply, this dish was AMAZING. I enjoyed every last bite and would highly recommend it if you visit and happen to see it on the menu. This was followed by a divine, light-as-air chocolate soufflé and coffee.

I can't recommend Tornavento highly enough. The cooking is first rate and the service is very friendly and efficient. Just don't get caught taking pics with your cell phone like my dining partner did. Apparently they don't like it. I have no problem to conform with the wishes of management in these sorts of things, but I do maintain that it's my food, I bought it and so I should be able to photograph it as well as eat it. Why any restaurant wouldn't want their cuisine given loads of free publicity on the web is beyond me, but I respectfully co-operate.

Anyway, don't let that discourage you if you are a picture taker - it's genuinely not a sign of arrogance and if you make it there I would love to see if you are as pleased as we were. I will be back for dinner, for sure!
Tel: 03-5775-2355


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