Christmas dinner at Beacon was our favorite gift of the holiday season. Though fewer foreigners were in the crowd than usual—chef David Chiddo’s “urban chophouse” in Aoyama draws one of the city’s most exciting mixed scenes, but most expats had apparently split town for X-mas—the restaurant had a mellow buzz that went well with the serious fare on the plates. After a celebratory glass of Monmarthe champagne in the stylish bar area (¥1,800), we were led by the gracious staff to one of the plush semi-private circular tables at the far end of the low-lit main room. The special five-course Christmas dinner (¥12,600) got off to a bracing start with salmon and scallop tartare topped with ikura and caviar. Served in a cocktail-like glass, this dish promised freshness—and delivered. The two following courses, though more straightforward, were no less delicious: sautéed foie gras with portabella mushrooms and honey-balsamic reduction, and pan-roasted tai with braised fennel and basil oil. Next up, the entrée of tender grilled Japanese tenderloin in a robust pinot noir sauce with winter vegetables the star of the show. We also plumped for a cheese plate with a fantastic Emmental among the three varieties, and finished off with raspberry-chocolate flan with cream-cheese gelato and strawberry sauce—the perfect end to a memorable Yuletide dinner.
1-2-5 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-6418-0077. Open Mon-Sat 11:30am-5pm and 6-10pm (bar open until 11pm), Sun brunch 11:30am-3pm and 6-9pm. Nearest stn: Shibuya. www.tyharborbrewing.co.jp