A toast is called for, to greet this brave new murine Year of the Rat as it scuttles out of the wainscoting and into the dining room. Nihonshu, Trappist ales, Prosecco, whatever — we're not fussy, as long as the setting is right and there is quality food to go with the liquid refreshments. Here are a few places that opened recently where the victuals are every bit as worthy as the booze.

'Tis the season of ritual and tradition, so the first kampai must surely be with sake. It also has to be in style, so our first stop is the excellent new Sake Bistro W in Kasumigaseki. The interior is designer chic, with carefully modulated lighting and, as a central water feature, a step pyramid of glowing green glass. The cellar may be stocked with sake, shochu and Okinawan awamori, but the ambience is more akin to a Greenwich Village wine bar.

That sense of crossing cultures is heightened further as you scan the English-language menu. The categories used to describe the more than 20 sake stocked are those used for fine wine: Grand Cru for the super-premium daiginjo, Premier Cru for premium ginjo and Tradition for the less rarefied categories.