Daniela (Italian), Shimokitazawa

Further to a tip from a friend, we went to Daniela, a nice-looking Italian restaurant. He had told us it was a great dining experience combined with a good selection of wine, but we decided to go for lunch to have a little idea first.
The place is simple, well decorated, with a nice little collection of foreign recipe books and Taschen-ish photo albums on the walls. If you're not willing to eat there, they also sell some cheese and delicatessen, as well as all sort of mouth-watering breads, letting you do some take out if necessary.

We opted for the cheaper lunch at ¥1,050 (the other ones which let you choose an hors-d'oeuvre, a main, a dessert etc... are charged at ¥2,100 and ¥3,150 if you want to add a plate of pasta), which comes with a serving of home-baked bread and a choice of tea/coffee.

Ravioli Di Patate

I chose their Ravioli Di Patate (potato stuffed Ravioli) topped with what I think were sauteed Porcini mushrooms. The ingredients were generally quite soft, making the dish almost feel like a ragout. The Ravioli were good, though I would have liked them more Al dente given the potatoes inside were surprisingly puree-like (when I was expecting a firmer texture). The olive oil and grated cheese made for an excellent sauce to scoop with the bread, and the cooked Porcini combined wonderfully with the sauce and the pasti. Once again, I would have preferred my mushrooms firmer as the recipe generally lacked consistent texture but they were tasty nonetheless.

The excellent bread

A special mention to the excellent bread they served us: two cuts each of a plain "Country bread" and some Onion Focaccia.

The lasagna

I had a bite at the Lasagna my wife had ordered: plain, not too flashy and low on salt. Good stuff. The dough did seem a little bit soft again, but maybe that's how the chef cooks his pasti here. By the way, the pasti are all homemade here.

Fresh Herbs Granita

Just as when we thought we were done, they brought us a delicious fresh herbs Granita Siciliana. Too bad it was a miniature portion as I could have downed a pound of that semi-frozen dolce. It was just sweet enough and delivering a refreshing anis-like soft aroma. Beauty.

I shall definitely go back for dinner to explore the chef's abilities furthermore. Next time with you, A. R. (you know who you are!)
By the way, it is pricy in the evening, so keep that for special occasions!

Daniela is closed on Thursdays and open the rest of the week from 11:30am to 23:00pm (closed from 15:00 to 17:30pm on weekdays)
Setagaya-ku, Daizawa 5-16-23
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