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Le Bar a Vin 52

Review excerpt: When the new Atre mall opened in April outside Ebisu Station, most people’s eyes were fixed on the ground floor and the one-hour lines outside burger phenomenon Shake Shack’s eagerly awaited second Tokyo branch. But those in the know have been directing their feet to destinations higher up — specifically to Le Bar a Vin 52 on the building’s fourth floor.

At first glance it looks like a typical open-plan mall-type dining area, with nothing to look at except the long open kitchen. There are no windows or indeed any walls to keep out the stares of the passersby. And the bar promised in the name boasts a mere half dozen seats, with standing space on one side.

Decor is minimal; the overall feel, functional. But run your eyes across the menu and things look a lot more promising. You will find excellent charcuterie, a good range of mostly wagyu steaks and a wine list that is considerably more extensive than you’d expect in this setting. And all at prices that are distinctly on the generous side, especially during this initial opening period.