By Ryu Takeda / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff WriterKOFU — “There are plenty of good foodstuffs in Yamanashi, so it is a waste not to use them,” Nahomi Shudo, 53, owner of a restaurant called Bistro Maison de Rouge, has a habit of saying. “I would like to share the appealing foods of this restaurant in Yamanashi Prefecture and beyond.”
She visits farmers to purchase vegetables including unusual ones such as long, thin banana peppers, Swiss chard with colorful stems, purple carrots and winter-harvested large black radishes. She plans her menu to make good use of the ingredients’ characteristics. Her dedication means she doesn’t use retort pouches and frozen foods, she said.
Popular dishes at the restaurant include a dish that means “Seasonal vegetables and seafood marinated with Japanese seasonings” (¥550, tax excluded), which uses several varieties of vegetables. A customer can try a little of each of six dishes with the “Hors d’oeuvre for you” option (¥880). And the “Stewed beef with Yamanashi red wine” (¥880) features thick-cut beef that melts in your mouth.
Besides these, various dishes made of foodstuffs that Shudo buys fresh every day are available. In peach season, cold pasta is served with fresh peach slices. Meat dishes featuring grapes are also offered when seasonally available. She sautes a grape variety called shine muscats with pork fillets, basting them with sauce made with grape juice.
Shudo was born in Ome, Tokyo, where her family ran a Japanese-style restaurant. During her childhood, she helped her family cook for customers.
After turning 30, she opened a cooking class in Tokyo and then moved to Kofu 14 years ago, seeking a suitable environment to raise her two sons.
She opened her restaurant on the north side of Kofu Station, but three years ago moved it to its current location in the Kofu city center. Since then, she has aimed to create a restaurant where even a young woman can feel comfortable to drop in alone.
After the relocation, her restaurant was only open at night. But, in response to customer demand, she began to offer lunch, too.
Because office employees working in the city center didn’t have much time for lunch, she thought she should serve it immediately after taking an order. Her solution was to narrow the menu down to a single dish — spaghetti Napolitan. During the summer period, cold Napolitan (¥920) joins the regular one on the menu. Customers eat the cold version like zaru-soba served with a dip.
Fifty types of wine are availble at the restaurant, where she aims for the atmosphere of a French bistro. In particular, “I recommend selected rare wines, made by small wineries,” Shudo said.
*Bistro Maison de Rouge
Open: 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. on weekdays for lunch, 5:30 p.m.-11 p.m. (10:15 p.m. last order) for dinner
Closed: Sundays, but open in the case of consecutive holidays
Address: 1-14-10 Marunouchi, Kofu
Credit cards accepted
To find out more about Japan’s attractions, visit http://the-japan-news.com/news/d&d