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Pignon

Review excerpt: The owner-chef Rimpei Yoshikawa of Pignon is anything but a typical Tokyo French chef. He drives an old Citroen 2CV better suited to 1960s Paris than the outer fringes of Shibuya. He prefers T-shirts to chef’s whites, tying his hair back in a ponytail as he works. And he runs his friendly, laid-back restaurant like an extension of his own dining room.

The look may be casual and slightly bohemian, but make no mistake: Yoshikawa has paid all necessary dues, both in Japan and France. He spent seven years at a high-end Tokyo restaurant, but after working for a while in Bordeaux, he realized his calling lay not in haute cuisine but the hearty, soulful everyday dishes of the bistro.

His cooking is as appetizing and authentic as it is affordable. From his aromatic duck confit to hearty roasts of lamb, pork or venison that he whips from stove top to oven and then onto the plate, the bottom line is that not only do you eat well at Pignon, you do so with enjoyment.