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A tranquil Italian restaurant opposite Shinjuku Gyoen Park, Aureole is a wonderful escape from the city, with a gorgeous terrace overlooking the park’s greenery. Aureole’s warm atmosphere makes it a fantastic spot to enjoy an excellent meal while relaxing in the fresh air.

Menu highlights are the healthy wraps—including California roll (¥1,280) and vegetarian (¥1,180)—just two from a large selection of meat-free dishes. Have your wrap, or other dishes, as part of a weekday lunch set from ¥950 (with salad and soup). Pasta lunches—such as clam spaghetti with Genova sauce—can be had for around the same price. To enjoy Aureole’s signature wrap or pizza at your office, take them out for ¥650 and ¥850 respectively. All lunch menus can be accompanied by a soft drink for ¥200 or alcohol—including draft beer (¥400) to make your day by the park burst into life. For an evening out, set dinners (from ¥1,680) include pasta, pizza or wraps (with salad and dessert). Other dishes include pizzas (from ¥980), and vegetable and prosciutto risotto with organic brown rice (¥1,300). Check out Aureole’s fantastic selection of wines, many from Italy. On those lazy weekend days, too, Aureole offers a special brunch menu until 4pm on Saturday and Sunday. The restaurant also hosts parties for 6-50 people, with two-hour all-you-can-drink courses starting from ¥5,000. Look out for a regular wine fair.

● 1-3-12 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku. Tel: 03-3355-8447. Open Tue-Fri 11:30am-3pm & 5:30-11pm, Sat 11:30am-11pm, Sun & hols 11:30am-10pm. Nearest stn: Shinjuku Gyoenmae. www.aureole.ne.jp

Bubby’s New York Ark Hills
With the stated mission of “Defending the American Table,” Bubby’s New York delivers to Tokyoites original pies, pancakes, burgers, meatloaf and other US classics developed at the original Bubby’s location in New York.

Bubby’s founder Ron Silver grew up with plenty of traditional American home food on his table, and traveled the country collecting home-style recipes passed down from generation to generation. In 1990, he brought these to the masses in Tribeca, Manhattan. At first Bubby’s started out as a pie shop, but as its reputation and its menu grew, it became a favorite for locals and celebrities alike. Today, fans from around the world visit Bubby’s in Tribeca every day. Though the area has been transformed since its opening, Bubby’s still serves up the same American food with the same traditional values.

In 2003, the second Bubby’s restaurant opened in Brooklyn, with the first overseas branch launching in Yokohama in 2009. After a long anticipated wait, a Bubby’s has finally opened in Tokyo—at Ark Hills in Akasaka last February. All pies, burger buns, sausages and bacon are made in-house, and customers who taste them will never look back. With a home-made atmosphere and freshness always in mind, Bubby’s delivers the flavors of American soul food straight onto the Tokyo table.

● 2F Ark Mori Bldg, 1-12-32 Akasaka, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-6441-0733. Open Mon-Fri 8am-11pm (LO 10pm), Sat-Sun & hols 10am-10pm (LO 9pm). http://bubbys.jp

Nirvana New York
Originally a much-loved restaurant in Manhattan, Nirvana had to close in 1970. Now, the founder’s son Warren has decided to reinstate this legendary restaurant at Tokyo Midtown, Roppongi.

At Nirvana New York, a range of delectables—including a wide selection of South Indian seafood delicacies, excellent options for vegetarians, and plenty of seasonal specials—are available to entertain your palate. Tandoori dishes are cooked inside an authentic tandoori oven for that unmistakable flavor. Another popular choice is the classic Indian biryani, made with spices and fresh herbs to enhance the aroma. The chef at Nirvana New York remains true to authentic Indian cuisine, though he is not afraid to be innovative, bringing local ingredients in to represent the four seasons in true Japanese style.

Once you step inside Nirvana, Missoni fabrics and colorful decorations welcome you. This latter-day palace calls to mind the Buddhist heaven from which the restaurant takes its name, with a view of the park from all seats suffusing your experience. Relaxing, spacious sofas and tables are placed at the terrace, to enjoy the Midtown Garden surrounded by skyscrapers. From May 7-September 30 take advantage of the Nirvana Champagne Garden, where you can get 90 minutes worth of delicious champagne for ¥3,500 (5-8:30pm; LO 7pm). See the website for details.

● 1F Garden Terrace Tokyo Midtown, 9-7-4 Akasaka, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-5647-8305. Email: nirvana@restaurant-mrs.com. Open: Mon-Fri 11am-3:30pm & 5pm-midnight (LO 10pm), Sat 11am-4pm & 5pm-midnight (LO 10pm), Sun & hols 11am-4pm & 5pm-11pm (LO 10pm). www.nirvana-newyork.jp

Mercedes-Benz Connection
Mercedes-Benz products are renowned for a unique combination of beautiful design and elegant functionality—and the same can be said for the company’s café-bar-restaurant in Roppongi. Mercedes-Benz Connection offers harmonious recipes made with fresh, seasonal ingredients, while the bar will furnish you with seasonal fruit and other cocktails to lubricate your afternoon or evening out. Cocktail ingredients include such natural selections as elderflower, ginger and more. The menu includes appetizers made with fresh vegetables, and subtly created main dishes at dinner.

Feel free to stop by just for a coffee too, relax in the stylish lounge, or check out the latest Mercedes-Benz products. You’ll find the diverse clientele have come for all sorts of reasons, from sipping a delicious drink to dining on the airy terrace with the Tokyo city landscape stretched out before them. If you are itching to get behind the wheel, you can even test-drive a car to experience the feeling of driving a Mercedes-Benz.
The restaurant is open until midnight on weekends, with different events going on at the space. Make sure you book your table in advance to avoid missing out. English-speaking staff are available at all times, as well as an English menu to peruse. Bring this copy of Metropolis until June 30 to get a 10% discount on dinner after 6pm (cannot be used for events).

● 7-8-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-3423-8775. Open Sun-Thu 11am-11pm, Fri-Sat & day before hols 11am-4am. Nearest stn: Roppongi. www.mercedes-benz-connection.com

CafE Hohokam
This hotspot of hip cuisine in Harajuku features burger menus produced by notable patty pro The Great Burger, topped off with shakes and booze options to parallel any other venue in the metropolis. The unique name comes from one of the native tribes of the American Southwest, and the décor and color scheme will bring to mind a harmonious desert idyll. Cacti and other plants transport customers to a different part of space-time, where you can cut loose from your daily life and enter a heightened state of consciousness.

Most suited to the season’s requirements is, of course, the spacious terrace at Café Hohokam, where even a balmy summer storm won’t deter outdoor carousing, thanks to a tented roof. As you sit in the sweet summer air, order yourself some tasty tucker, such as the signature Café Hohokam burger (¥1,450 with fries), filled with chili and jalapeno peppers and served with a light brown bun that recalls the desert sand. Recently, Hohokam started a monthly burger menu, so ask for details, or pick from the other sandwiches and options available. There is also a weekday lunch deal between 11:30am-4pm where you can nab yourself a full set meal with a drink for just ¥1,000. With a total capacity of 70, Café Hohokam could make a great venue for a summer party—ask for details.

● 2F, 3-22-14 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-5775-5708. Open daily 11:30am-11pm. Nearest stn: Harajuku or Meiji-Jingumae. www.cafe-hohokam.com

Orgoglio Del Casalta
Reminiscent of a small corner of Tuscany in the leafy, affluent triangle of Ebisu, Hiroo and Roppongi, Orgoglio Del Casalta has recently opened to provide freshly made Italian cuisine in a gorgeously designed space. The original restaurant Casalta opened in Siena, Tuscany, with this sister store opening a short while ago in May this year. The chef began his career at Sabitani, an Italian restaurant in Aoyama, before working as an apprentice for several years in Rome, Florence, Tuscany and Liguria.

The environment at Orgoglio Del Casalta is set up to be a natural fit for foreign sentiments and tastes, along with the assistance of Italian staff who can also speak English. The entranceway is notable for its European-style bar where customers are encouraged to sip a drink and relax while waiting to be seated, waiting for company, or for a charming time in itself. What’s more, the bar is accessible with no charge or time limit. With reasonably priced drinks such as Campari and orange juice to flavor your experience, you might well end up staying there all night.

If you needed any further incentive to stroll up the street from Ebisu to this stylish Italian enclave, then bring along your copy of Metropolis for a 10% discount off meals at lunch or dinner.

● 1F Hiroo Bldg, 3-12-40 Hiroo, Shibuya-ku. Tel 03-6418-5896. Open Mon-Sat noon-3pm & 6-11pm. Nearest stn: Ebisu or Hiroo. www.orgogliodelcasalta.com

Osteria Pippo’s
Taste the flavors that stem from the rich earth and flow through the kitchens, homes and restaurants of Italy’s sun-drenched southern isle, at a warm and welcoming Italian restaurant in the Tokyo metropolitan area of Akasaka. Sit down to eat freshly-made Sicilian dishes so authentic that you will feel the Mediterranean sun’s rays on the back of your neck as you dine.

Osteria Pippo’s is helmed by none other than the Sicily-born Garrafo Salvatore Giuseppe, the head chef, who has managed kitchens of all types over his years of experience, including Italian, Japanese, and other international cuisine types. This head chef’s dishes are lovingly made from traditional Sicilian recipes that make use of local, Japanese ingredients to create a mélange that graces the tongue with a sweet elegance. Fresh seafood and vegetables are always used to bring seasonal coloring to the dishes, while evoking the nutritional esthetic at the heart of Sicily’s culture.

Stop by at this locale, just a couple of minutes’ walk from Akasaka station, to find out about seasonal and daily promotions—a great way to first experience the range of culinary delights that Pippo’s has to offer. What’s more, if you bring along this issue of Metropolis magazine, you can help yourself to a free glass of spumante (Italian sparkling wine).

● 2-14-14 Akasaka, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-3588-4568. Email: pippo@solarehotels.com. Open: Mon-Fri 7-9:30am, 11:30am-2pm & 5:30-10pm, Sat 7-9:30am & 5:30-10pm, Sun & hols 7-9:30am. Nearest stn: Akasaka.

Roti Roppongi
Roti Roppongi’s wide expanse of terrace-based comfort has always been something extremely special. Anyone who has wandered the swanky streets of Roppongi, Azabu and Hiroo will know that it’s decidedly difficult to find such a pleasant ground-level outside space, hidden from the main street and amazingly quiet considering its metropolitan location.

Open all day with 36 comfortable seats, Roti is the perfect place for lunch, a lazy weekend brunch, afternoon coffee, dinner and wine, or just for drinks with friends into the small hours of the evening.

During the warmer months this year, there are a few notable things going on at Roti that demand to be jotted down on one’s to-do list. For example, stop by any Sunday night between 5-9pm to tuck into Sunday steak night, when juicy US sirloin steaks are cut up to order and served up on real Italian acacia-wood boards. As far as liquid refreshment goes, there will be 12 wonderful Californian wines available by the glass all summer, and six revolving craft beer taps to froth your interior ale-thirsty devil into submission. Meanwhile the Wi-Fi is still crackling, take-out and delivery are still offered, and happy hour is still rocking 5-7pm on weekdays with 25% off many drinks. Stay informed about the weekly beer selection at Roticraftbeer@twitter.com, and like them at facebook.com/rotiroppongi.

● 6-6-9 Roppongi, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-5785-3671. Open Mon-Fri lunch 11:30am-5pm & dinner 6-11pm, Sat-Sun & hols brunch 11:30am-5pm & dinner 6-11pm. Nearest stn: Roppongi. www.roti.jp

Sun2Diner was opened in 2011 on July 20—which patty enthusiasts will know is International Burger Day—by a man passionate about such sandwiches. Having spent five years as manager of hamburger specialist Fungo Mishuku, the owner also spent time in San Diego, California, where the esthetics and feeling influenced him greatly. Sun2Diner’s spacious layout with natural décor makes customers feel at home, while the tantalizing smell of barbecued meat wafting in from the back makes the food on the plate even juicier.

A must-have at Sun2Diner is the burger with a 100% beef patty made fresh from a block of beef every morning. As opposed to the typical pre-processed discs of flaccid meat that normally make up common high-street burgers, this process and attention to quality makes Sun2Diner customers feel they are eating steak in burger form. Other foods include jerk chicken, roast turkey or beef with mash and gravy, and drinks include local San Francisco beers, and even draft white beer on weekends and holidays (starting in June). Until the end of August, Sun2Diner offers a special beer menu with Hawaiian Kona Beer, Jamaican Red Stripe, California’s Anchor Steam, and more. You can also stop in from 5-8pm to get draft Ebisu for just ¥500. What better excuse to accompany a juicy burger with a beer and set summer on its way?

● 1F Ogawa Bldg, 2-43-11 Kamimeguro, Meguro-ku. Tel: 03-5724-3330. Open Mon-Fri 11am-3pm & 5pm-midnight, Sat-Sun & hols 9am-midnight. Nearest stn: Nakameguro. http://sun2diner.com

Tetes Nishi-Azabu & Toyosu
Imagine relaxing amid a soothing décor featuring plenty of wood, while you nourish your body with tasty dishes stuffed full of nutritious vegetables. Tetes is where this idle fantasy can come true—in a city where such locations are all too scarce.

Tetes’ Nishi-Azabu branch was a reopening of a longstanding natural-style Thai-Vietnamese café. This new concept was then replicated in Toyosu. The cafés are run by the company Nonpi, whose owner experienced many varied jobs and challenges during his life. The opening of this company represented a time of “non piu fame”—“no more hunger” in Italian—hence the name Nonpi.

Tetes offers a wide variety of waffles, and even the standard brunch dish eggs Benedict is filled with fresh vegetables. Freshly made juice makes for green smoothies perfect for a detox, or just a pure taste of nature. All dishes are created and improved upon constantly by a chef with a strong French influence.

Head to the Toyosu branch at lunchtime to take advantage of a special free-refill drink bar, and look out for some special alcohol deals planned for the near future. Customers are young and old, Japanese and foreign, but all love the cool, natural environment, and always come back. Mention you read Metropolis magazine to claim your 10% discount.

● Nishi-Azabu: 1-2F, 2-13-12 Nishi-Azabu,Minato-ku. Tel: 03-5468-5505. Open Mon-Thu, Sun & hols 10am-midnight, Fri-Sat & pre-hols, 10am-5am.

● Toyosu: 1F, 3-2-20 Toyosu, Koto-ku. Tel: 03-6204-2781. Open Mon-Thu, Sun & hols, 10am-11pm, closed Fri-Sat.

● Email: info@nonpi.com. http://organic.munchiesdeli.com

The Theatre Table
Newly opened Shibuya Hikarie numbers among its restaurants stylish Italian eatery The Theatre Table. The first thing you’ll notice when entering will be the six-meter-high ceilings, endowing the place with a spacious feeling that combines with a large chandelier to create a European theatre atmosphere. The 158 seats inside are complemented by a terrace boasting 20 sofa seats from which to admire the eleventh-floor vista. Designed by Intentionallies, the company that created designer hotel Claska, the restaurant makes the most of natural light during the day, while candles at night create an intimate mood.

The Theatre Table is found right by the entrance of musical Theatre Orb, which provides for some joint deals with show tickets and set meals at the restaurant. Meanwhile, the coffee stand next door, The Theatre Coffee, sells beer and glasses of wine until 8pm, making it a prime spot for meeting up, or waiting for a table.

The menu at The Theatre Table was designed by Chef Harada, from the one-Michelin-starred restaurant Aroma Fresca. Weekday lunch includes vegetarian appetizers, a buffet and free drinks, and the mains and pastas range from ¥1,300-1,800. Tasty cocktails such as mojito and sangria are available by the pitcher all day. Bring this issue along to claim one free drink, after 6pm before the end of June. The Theatre Table might be full, so please call ahead to avoid disappointment.

● 11F Shibuya Hikarie, 2-21 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-3486-8411. Email: thetheatretable@transit-web.com. Open daily 11:30am-midnight. Nearest stn: Shibuya. www.thetheatretable.com