Just a five-minute walk from Nakameguro Station but a world away from the rowdy izakayas nearby, Au Coin du Feu means ‘fireplace’ or ‘warm place to gather’ in French – and the name is apt. Operated by chef Jun Yamaguchi and his sommelier wife Sachiko, this one wows with welcoming and personal service in a relaxed yet sophisticated atmosphere. Be prepared to settle in for a couple of hours over exceptional French home cooking and a bottle or two of Gallic red – the wine list is extensive.
A blackboard displays the à la carte menu that sees some seasonal variation while always listing a handful of signature dishes. One of these is the smoked salmon with a slow-poached egg. Smoked in house for half an hour to give it a perfectly soft texture and a delicately smoky flavour while retaining its raw colour, the fish comes topped with diced tomato, cucumber, shallots and dill. It’s a huge portion – something that applies to all dishes at Au Coin du Feu, so make sure to come with an appetite.
Another standout, and a truly authentic French representation, is the duck en croûte. Encased in handmade buttery puff pastry is a centre of foie gras surrounded by minced duck, jamón ibérico and spinach. It’s oven-baked until the pastry is golden and flaky, and served with a truffle oil and red wine sauce, roasted root vegetables and French mushrooms.
Au Coin du Feu is open six days a week for dinner, while lunch is served on five days. This is when you can get a three-course meal for ¥2,500 or a four-course one for ¥3,500.