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Eating out / Share a meal at Michelin-starred French chef’s new Ginza bistro

The Japan News

Dominique Bouchet, left, and his wife, Yuriko, at the bistro

The Japan NewsOn the edge of Tokyo’s busy Ginza district, next to the grounds of a primary school, sits a new chic bistro, opened this past summer. What distinguishes Les Copains de Dominique Bouchet is the contrast between the relaxed air of the dining space — there are no tablecloths — and the hearty classic cuisine created by world-renowned French chef Dominique Bouchet.

At Les Copains, which translates as “the chums,” customers are welcome to share all the dishes they are served.

“‘Copain’ means someone to share bread with,” says the chef. His idea of opening a bistro in Japan, a country with a long tradition of sharing food, was born out of the desire to see clients casually sharing a meal, unlike the patrons at Dominique Bouchet Tokyo, a formal restaurant with two Michelin stars that he operates in Ginza.

At the bistro, one finds of course familiar dishes such as terrine (¥1,800 for one portion and ¥3,200 for two), royale de foie gras (¥2,000 for one portion), and steak and French fries (¥2,900 for one portion and ¥5,700 for two).

All chef Bouchet’s dishes linger pleasantly on the palate.

“We serve everything in smaller portions than at our other establishment, but the taste is just as good. We practice ‘bistronomie,’” explains the chef’s Japanese wife, Yuriko, referring to the concept of offering fine cuisine in smaller portions.

Meat lovers should make sure not to miss the l’agneau mitonne au vin rouge, lamb slowly cooked for seven hours in red wine (¥2,700 for one portion, ¥5,000 for two). Bouchet’s kitchen team carefully prepares it to re-create the chef’s signature dish — a natural wholesomeness in deep, velvety sauce — served in his restaurant in Paris.

The friendly waitstaff ensure that whatever dishes one chooses will be accompanied by just the right wine.

In addition to the a la carte menu, the bistro offers a five-course meal for ¥7,500 as well as a wine bar menu. The robust array of flavorful cheese imported from France also impresses.

*Les Copains de Dominique Bouchet

Open: 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m. (last order)

Closed: Sundays

Address: BF1, 5-1-8 Ginza, Chuo Ward, Tokyo

Reservations: www.lescopains.jp

Major credit cards accepted

To find out more about Japan’s attractions, visit http://the-japan-news.com/news/d&d

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