December 9, 2013

Italian restaurant and cafe in the Ueno Park

First half of December in Tokyo is the end of Autumn and beginning of Winter. Still, we enjoy beautiful colored leaves here and there. Ueno Park (上野公園), where a lot of museums, music hall, zoo and Tokyo University of the Arts (東京藝術大学) are located is one of the good spots for seeing autumn leaves in Tokyo. In particular on weekday, we can enjoy calm and peaceful atmosphere of the Park thanks to relatively fewer visitors.  

Shinobazu Pond and Sky Tree
Tokyo University of the Arts
Beautiful gingko trees
The Park is dotted with restaurants and cafes and I haven't visited all yet even though I live just in front.  One day, I had a chance to try an Italian restaurant named "Le quatro stagioni (レ クアトロ スタジオーニ)" and a newly opened "PARK SIDE CAFE (パークサイドカフェ)" with a friend. At lunch time, the Italian restaurant offers set meal at JPY1,200 including salad, soup,pasta or pizza and drink.  The portion might not be big enough for men, but as a casual lunch for women, it was good.  Pizza baked by a big oven was a napoli-style and the chewy texture was delicious. My favorite combination, four types of cheese (especially、gorgonzola!) and honey was dainty!    

Exterior of "Le quattro stagioni"
Salad and soup
Pizza margherita
Pizza quatro formaggio
PARK SIDE CAFE is located near the National Museum of Western Arts (国立西洋美術館) and Tokyo Bunka Kaikan (東京文化会館), a big hall for music, opera, ballet, etc. A big STARBUCKS is just in front of the cafe, but  I personally recommend this local cafe rather than the global chain for feeling culture and arts of the Ueno Park. 
Cake set and fresh herb tea
PARK SIDE CAFE is a woody and comfortable cafe. Through the big windows, the park view is very nice. The price of drinks is a bit higher than chain cafes, but if you order a cake set around JPY1,000, the total cost might be similar or much cheaper. Fresh herb tea was very impressive with full of herb's aroma. Pair tart and cheese cake were not bad at all. Seating in this good location was value for money. If you come to the Ueno Park, why don't you try?

Le quatro stagioni (レ クアトロ スタジオーニ)
PARK SIDE CAFE (パークサイドカフェ)