Eating out / Experience charms of tableware, food from Niigata Prefecture

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo

Chef Takeshi Akiyama at his restaurant in Niigata

The Yomiuri ShimbunTsubamesanjo Italian Bit, a popular restaurant in Chuo Ward, Niigata, opened an outlet in Tokyo’s Ginza district last month.

The Tsubamesanjo area — composed of Tsubame and Sanjo cities in Niigata Prefecture — is known for its forging of cutlery and other products. The restaurant serves dishes using local foods with Western-style tableware also produced in Tsubamesanjo.

It also serves as an information center about the area’s attractions, its efforts including an in-store section that showcases Tsubamesanjo products.

Bit was opened in 2013 by Takeshi Akiyama, 37, the restaurant’s chef and representative. A native of the town of Yoshida in the prefecture, which is now part of Tsubame, Akiyama worked in hotels in Chiba Prefecture to develop his career. Bit is highly regarded for featuring dishes made with Tsubamesanjo vegetables carefully selected by local farmers and served with tableware from the area.

In November 2015, the restaurant won the national Izakaya Koshien competition, in which 1,482 eating and drinking establishments across the country competed on the quality of their services. It received high marks for its way of entertaining customers, especially by using locally made Western-style tableware, and won for the first time.

The Ginza outlet has an exhibition section displaying Tsubamesanjo products, including containers from Gyokusendo Inc. in Tsubame and chopsticks from Marunao Co. in Sanjo. Their tableware and utensils are also used in the restaurant.

Akiyama wants it to be a place that makes people in Tokyo want to visit Tsubamesanjo, through items such as chandeliers made from waste generated in the process of manufacturing the local products. The outlet shows how the products are made in a video.

“We want to promote the appeal of Tsubamesanjo in Ginza, where many top-rated restaurants are located,” Akiyama said.

*Tsubamesanjo Italian Bit’s Ginza outlet

Open: 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. for lunch, 5:30 p.m.-11 p.m. for dinner

Closed: Sundays and national holidays

Address: CSS building’s 3F, 7-8-8 Ginza, Chuo Ward, Tokyo

Tel: (03) 3573-6560

Credit cards accepted

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