There are Italian restaurants everywhere in Japan, mainly chain restaurant that does not offer that home-cooked feel anymore. So, when a small scale Italian restaurant that you can see and taste that the dishes are home made, it really hit that warm spot in your heart (or your tummy).
My friend took us to this rather new Italian Restaurant (opened around Summer of 2014), and as soon as I walked in, I really liked the way it looked. It had that cozy, warm, homey feel to it that was so inviting. It has a large, long counter seats by the entrance, the counter was made with nice large piece of wood, and with light wooden floor, giving that warm feel.
There were table seating to the back and front of the restaurants. We went during weekday, so it was not too crowded. It had cute decorations on the walls that were Italian theme, and chalk board indicating the special menu of the day.
They brought us complimentary focaccia bread, hot from the oven. It was big, fluffy, and very tasty with rosemary. If you want more, they will give you a refill, but make sure not to get full with the bread before your main dish arrives! They were really good bread though.
We ordered pasta dish from their special lunch menu of the day, as they make their own pasta. Home made pasta is always the way to go! I ordered Spaghetti with Dried Baby Sardines, Shiso leaves and Japanese ginger. (1,480 yen, roughly $14.50), and the lunch menu all comes with your choice of tea or coffee, and dessert of the day. I was surprised with the generous amount of pasta, it was much more than I expected, so it was totally worth the price! The spaghetti was cooked just right, and the sauce was not too salty, but light without losing the flavor. The Shiso leaves and dried baby sardines really complimented the flavor of each other, and the hint of ginger, was nice touch. I was afraid of this dish to be too strong with ginger taste, but it was more subtle, just adding the extra hint of flavor which was really great.
Another dish we ordered was Seafood Spaghetti all’Arrabbiata with Water Spinach (1,200 yen). Again, it comes with tea or coffee, and dessert of the day. It came mountain full, and had nice amount of seafood, such as fish and shell fish. For this price, I say it was a steal. And the tomato sauce had really great flavor, not too spicy but just the right amount of kick to it.
Last item was Spaghetti with Eel from Ehime, Sweet Chili Peppers with Bottarga di Muggine Powder (cured mullet roe powder). This was very colorful, bright, and of course, generous amount of fresh pasta! The fish was cooked well, and the sauce had a very nice, light flavor that complimented the fish. The powder added extra boast of seafood flavor, without being too salty.
Then the dessert of the day. It was an Orange Panna Cotta with Tropical Fruits Sorbet. It also had red berry sauce, and crumbled chocolate. It was really creamy and rich, without being too sweet. A perfect way to end the fabulous lunch.
Each item was made with care and high quality ingredients. And we were all left very full and happy. The fresh pasta had great texture and flavor, and each sauce was tasty, with nicely prepared and seasoned ingredients. The service was really nice also, polite and friendly. We didn’t feel rushed, provided it was not really crowded at that time. We had a really nice time with friend and family, I will definitely go back in the future when I go back to Japan!
Trattoria il Regalo – 6-3 Nemoto, Matsudo, Chiba Japan 271-0077