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Hot List 2008

Armani Ginza Ristorante, Tokyo

Address: Ginza Tower, 10th Floor

Tel: 81-3-6274-7005

Tokyo's best people watching is at the Armani Ginza Ristorante, the flagship's restaurant-in-the-sky. Here, lacy gold-mesh screens divide the long, lovely space into pods of six tables, and severely attired waiters march back and forth from the kitchen carrying oversized black lacquered trays that appear proplike. The food is Italian, but it's filtered through a Japanese aesthetic: Never has a coil of eggy fettuccine tossed with wild mushrooms looked so beautifully tidy or tasted so sprightly and clean. There is precise pancetta-and-chicken mille-feuille and a wonderfully bright diver sea scallop served atop a cushion of sautéed purple cabbage. But if the food is perfectly presented, it lacks the occasionally messy but always glorious drama of authentic Italian food; explosions of flavor are muted into something more elegant than bold. The exception is the desserts: The tiramisu semifreddo is both silken and astonishingly rich and complicated (prix fixes, $85–$175).

Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

My Concierge.com

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