Restauranteer Report: Tinto
Written by: Gavin Bingë
We really found a gem on that warm summer’s eve. The soft lights sparkled; the crowd’s conversation buzzed and the smells from the kitchen were delicious. Right from the moment we walked in, it was clear that this restaurant was special.
They really captured the warm Mediterranean essence with their décor, lighting, and small patio area opening out onto the street (although this may only be open in summer). It reminded me of some of the great places I’d enjoyed once upon a time in the Italian countryside. While soaking up the atmosphere, a spark in the air made me think of Spanish dancing and fiery Italian passion. I found out later via some photos that they did host dances at one point! They may still do them and it may be worth asking their English staff if you’re interested.
The menu was expansive, varied, and looked entirely delicious. I struggled to find anything on there that looked bad and I can personally vouch for the beef tacos, although I have it on good authority that what arrived were actually quesadillas. Still, they were absolutely delicious, if unfortunately a little small. A bit more meat and a wider selection of greens would go down well, I think. But, as it is, the quesa-tacos come with beef, cheese, lettuce, cream and salsa, all of which is fresh and fantastic.
Also, keeping up with the high standards of Japan, the service is excellent: kind, polite and very friendly. But the staff at Tinto go above and beyond as they are also (impressively!) multilingual. Some speak near-perfect English and I heard that some speak Spanish as well. I was thoroughly impressed the first time I visited as our waiter was so keen to practice his (already-excellent) English and I’d urge any English speakers to try this place just to encourage them to keep up the good work.
Just like anywhere else, the prices vary depending on what is ordered, but on the whole, the mid-range dishes sat between a very reasonable ¥1000 and ¥1500 and alcoholic drinks sat around ¥500 a glass. Their wine selection was not bad, but their beer selection was unfortunately the same as most other places: Asahi on tap, Kirin available, but little in the way of variety.
Overall, I was thoroughly impressed: a beautiful, relaxing place with a stunning array of delicious, well-priced food and wonderful English-speaking staff. Each time I’ve been here, I’ve also had the luck of being in excellent company, and really, I couldn’t ask for more.