by Steve Trautlein
Have you heard? Monday, August 4 is Beer Hall Day at The Dubliners’ Irish Pub. What is Beer Hall Day, you might ask? For one day only, pints of draft beer will be sold for just ¥500. At which branch? All six of ’em! And if you can’t wait until then, stop by any of the locations (in Shibuya, Shinjuku, Akasaka, Shinagawa, Toranomon or Ikebukuro) between July 28 and August 3, and for every pint you drink, receive a ¥100 discount ticket redeemable on or after August 5.
It’s easy to grow tired of visiting the same Roppongi watering holes week after week. Opened last month, Zero Bar (1F Roppongi 410 Bldg, 4-10-5 Roppongi, Minato-ku; 03-5775-0100; www.zerobar.jp) promises something fresh—and refreshing. This new champagne bar just steps from the Tokyo Midtown complex offers a selection of over 100 bottles of bubby and wine. The small-ish space is dimly lit, with a wood counter and comfy low-back bar stools and the drinks illuminated under red lights. To find it, look for the number “0” in the bar’s ground-level window.
Up for some live jazz, pops, bossa nova, samba or chanson from leading Japanese musicians? At Boston Dreams (B1 Roppongi Five Bldg, 5-18-20 Roppongi, Minato-ku; 03-3583-3988), just off Gaien-Higashi Dori, you can enjoy three sets of live music (7:40-11pm) six days a week. Stop by during happy hour (5:30-7:30pm) and pay ¥1,000 for two drinks and popcorn, with additional drinks just ¥500. Entry starts at just ¥3,000, but mention Metropolis and get in for half-price. BJM
Le Dragon Bleu
Head down to ATAGO and slip into an Asian oasis
|Photos Courtesy of KEN-ICHI
A recent visit to the classy, Asian-themed
Le Dragon Bleu left us thinking one thing: We really, really
wish our offices were near Atago Green Hills. While the people
in our group had to schlep across town or even come in from
Yokohama, for the lucky workers of Kamiyacho, this fun and
funky bar is a short walk away.
We knew we were in for a treat as soon as we stepped through
the heavy glass doors. Le Dragon Bleus lighting is just
the way we like itextremely lowand its air of
studied elegance is enchanting. Antique folding screens, striking
flower arrangements, cushy chairs, and large, arcing windowseverywhere
we looked, an appealing bit of décor caught our eye.
The atmosphere was of a stylish and clubby resort lounge.
Although we were visiting midweek, Le Dragon Bleu was pretty
full, and we were glad we had reservations. Nattily dressed
staff led us to a row of booths with plush benches and ornate
wood cornices. Other seating options include a conventional
bar area and a long common table with unfinished wood seats.
On future trips, well request a spot near the entrance,
where deep cushioned armchairs and sofas surround a low, candlelit
Already feeling at ease, we were next given a taste of Le
Dragon Bleus attention to hospitality. On our table
sat a small vase with a personalized note of welcome, which
we read while freshening up with a mint-scented shibori.
Not everything about the experience was quite
so upscale. A boisterous group of casually dressed young men
and women whooped it up at the common table, and if we closed
our eyes, we would have thought we were in an izakaya. More
in keeping with the atmosphere were two attractive, expensively
coiffed women in their 30s who shared cocktails and a whispered
conversation at one of the bars small tables.
From the bilingual menu we ordered a mojito (¥1,100) and
a rassayan (¥1,200). This latter turned out to be a mix
of mango, rum and coconut, an exotic blend that accorded well
with Le Dragon Bleus Asian motifs. Other drinks include
standard cocktails and an eclectic list of wines (from ¥3,200),
in addition to beer and shochu. The food, meanwhile, is what
Tokyoites call ethnic: Chinese, Malaysian, Thai
and Indonesian dishes prepared to suit Japanese tastes. Both
phad thai (¥1,100) and a satay combo of lamb, pork, and
shrimp (¥1,280) were large-portioned, spicy and thoroughly
Although we wont be quitting our jobs just so we can
work closer to Atago Green Hills, we can say that the prospect
of enjoying a regular happy hour at Le Dragon Bleu is sorely
2F Atago Green Hills Plaza, 3-21-5
Toranomon, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-5733-3771. Open Mon-Sat 11am-3:30pm
& 5:30pm-4am, Sat, Sun and hols 5:30-11pm. Nearest stn:
Hibiya line, Kamiyacho stn, exit 3 or Mita line, Onarimon
stn, exit A5. www.soho-s.co.jp
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