With the end of the year approaching, I decided to scout out potential candidates for a holiday meal with my children. My criteria: good food (of course) with something on the menu that would appeal to the under-12 set, great ambience — special enough without being so formal that it would be stressful — and a place where children could wander without bothering other patrons or running out into the street.
Perfectly fitting the bill is & Style Restaurant, an Italian restaurant in Tokyo’s Tenoha Daikanyama complex, which also includes a coffee shop, boutique, cafe, market and coworking space.
Strings of lights, cobblestones, and well-appointed greenery give the complex a festive feel right from the moment you enter its open courtyard. I have to confess, though, my favorite aspect of this restaurant is the ample space, with enough room between tables to easily maneuver a stroller.
To test the establishment’s kid-friendliness, we opted for dinner time, when children are at their least predictable and at their lowest or highest energy levels, depending on the child and the day. We lucked out with our 3- and 4-year-old, who were in a fabulous mood that day, and managed to be seated at a table in the back of the restaurant with minimal fuss. The modern interior is dimly lit in the evening with candles at every table, which we moved to a strategic location out of the reach of curious little hands.
Always looking for an excuse to order some vegetables, and ever hopeful that our children will eat them, we started our meal with the ambitious Kamakura Vegetables with Bagna Fredda Sauce (¥1,400), a colorful and appetizing assortment of vegetables including zucchini, turnips and sugar snap peas served with a creamy anchovy sauce. Although the sauce was strongly flavored and not something I expected the children to enjoy, they were surprisingly open to eating the vegetables that evening, and managed to eat their fair share.
We were quite off the mark in terms of what we assumed would appeal to the children on the menu, ordering the Margherita pizza (¥1,000), presumably for the children, and the Tagliatelle with Duck Ragout (¥1,600) for the adults. The children tucked right into the pasta, served with a tantalizing ragout of carrots, onion and tender strips of duck. They even liked the slightly bitter and spicy flavor of the radicchio in the sauce, and unexpectedly left the pizza for the adults.
& Style Restaurant welcomes children for lunch and dinner and is equipped with high chairs and a spacious bathroom with a changing table and baby seat. From Dec. 22-24, when the restaurant will be serving a special Christmas dinner course, children are welcome for the lunch seating.
After an obligatory run around the courtyard with the kids, we decided to get a head start on the holiday season by making a stop at the nearby Daikanyama Address dixsept to admire the holiday decor. All in all, a delicious way to get in the spirit — without the stress.
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