C'est La Vie Nagano, Shinjuku セラヴィナガノ 新宿

Sorry if there's any confusion around the name - this French restaurant is in Shinjuku, not Nagano. I may even get round to asking the owner some time about the name, as this tiny, ageing, basement level hot-bed of cream and foie-gras worship in Shinjuku, not far from Shinjuku Gyoen could become a little regular of mine.

I've been twice for dinner, and on the second visit, I also took some work colleagues who ended up more than happy. The menu is actually quite large for such a small place but on both occasions I ordered the lamb with foie gras and cassis as my main. On my more recent visit this was washed down with a bottle of Alsatian Pinot which was exceptionally pleasant. Perhaps it's easy to impress a bunch of hungry blokes with food that is off the dial in terms of its hedonic/calorie index. We're talking "pre-nouvelle" cuisine here, but that's where I find the charm.

I wouldn't call this a friendly place, but the chef and his assistant are diligent and professional. For the occasional old-fashioned indulgence, if you're in the area and feeling like a big feed of comfort food with a bit of panache, then I'd give them a try.

Tel: 03-3350-7610


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