Food & Drink | TOKYO FOOD FILE

Osteria Beverino: Casual vino, cucina and wine bar ambiance

by Robbie Swinnerton

Special To The Japan Times

It’s an old complaint, but Tokyo really doesn’t have enough good, easy-going wine bars. Not enough that serve dozens of wines at prices anyone can afford, with quality food and the kind of unpretentious atmosphere that makes you feel comfortable hanging out all evening. Not enough like Osteria Beverino, really.

From outside, it looks classier than you might expect on the drab stretch of Meiji-dori between Ebisu and Shibuya. But the wine list immediately reassures, offering a score of bottles at ¥2,800, a dozen at ¥600 per glass, and plenty more in higher price and quality brackets.

But it’s the food menu that will make you want to stay. Italian in inspiration, the starters range from smoked swordfish carpaccio to tasty fritters of cod and shrimp, to excellent homemade salsiccia sausage. Several of the pasta dishes are made in-house (check the daily specials), and there are good meat dishes, especially the tagliata of Kagoshima Prefecture beef. The steak is grilled rare, sliced thin, covered with Parmesan cheese and served on a bed of arugula — fantastic.

With its high ceiling, long bar and friendly floor staff, Beverino (Italian for “easy to drink”) seems almost too good to be true. All is explained when you realize it’s a branch of Meguro’s super little Trattoria della Lanterna Magica. That’s a good enough recommendation for most.