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Saturday, March 4, 2017

Chubu 2016 (Nagano & Niigata) 長野県と新潟県の旅 - Komatsuya こまつや

Visited 16.10.2016 (Sun)


Natural dining. Read about Komatsuya while conducting my routine research before a trip, and it immediately sparked my interest to pay this place a visit. Completed our tour of Zenkoji just before the sky turned dark, had some light snacks/desserts at Yokomachi Cafe and hanged around the nearby area while waiting for the restaurant to open for dinner business that evening. Knowing that the restaurant can only hold up to 13 patrons, I decided to arrive punctually at 6 pm, "prayed" that I could secure seats without prior reservations. Was greeted politely by the staff at the entrance who was preparing for operation and fortunately there were vacancies for walk in patrons. 30 minutes later, the humble restaurant was packed with a small crowd. Komatsuya, started operation in 2009 and its current building was originally a sundries shop. I like the open kitchen concept in particular, which bring diners (especially those at the counter seats) closer to the chef and the overall ambience here felt very homely and comfortable. French cuisine is their specialty and their culinary style aims to bring out the natural flavours of fine ingredients used in their creations. Organic vegetables are also imported directly from local farms for guaranteed freshness and quality. Though there are only two main courses to choose from (either A or B), the menu changes almost daily depending on what ingredients are procured that day. Chose "Dinner set A" (2,100 yen) which comes with appetiser made up of three different components and bread, main pasta course and coffee/tea/tea soda. If you are planning to have a rushed dinner, you will not be able to do so in Komatsuya as dinner is only prepared upon order. 



Appetiser. Had our coffee/tea served first and took pleasure in watching the chef preparing our appetisers in the open kitchen. The dish was made up of several components, aesthetically plated, and definitely much more complex than I initially perceived to be. Carefully savoured every element of the dish and I was extremely impressed by both the concept and taste. A slice of beautifully seared Hungary imported duck meat, marinated with Shinshu miso (ハンガリー産鴨肉の信州味噌マリネ), fillet of fried sanma (mackeral pike) accompanied with ravigote sauce, a classic lightly acidic sauce used in French cuisine (秋刀魚のラヴィゴットソース添え), wedge of frittata made from minced pork and autumn harvested vegetables (豚ひき肉と秋野菜フリッタータ), delicious homemade bread (which I thought was a cake) and fresh greens were put together in a single appetiser. I personally felt that this appetiser created a great impression of Komatsuya.

Sumptuous appetiser.
Main course. There were two pasta to choose from the menu of the day.  
[A] Anchovy, caper, olive and autumn harvested vegetables in tomato sauce topped up with mascarpone cheese (アンチョビ.ケーパー.オリーブと秋野菜のトマトソース,マスカルポーネチースのせ).
[B] Spanish mackeral, sea bream, gurnard and autumn harvested vegetables in tomato cream sauce (鰆とオゴ鯛とホウボウ秋野菜のトマトクリームソース).
My parents chose A and B; and I decided to go for the tomato cream sauce pasta. The main course did not disappoint at all as the chef presented a simple yet taste satisfying plate of pasta. The noodles were al-dente, well cooked while retaining the firmness in the core. I like the tomato cream sauce in particular as it was not too rich (usually I will be sick of the sauce after a few spoonfuls), infused with sweetness and flavours from three different fishes.

[A] Anchovy, caper, olive and autumn harvested vegetables in tomato sauce topped up with mascarpone cheese.

[B] Spanish mackeral, sea bream, gurnard and autumn harvested vegetables in tomato cream sauce
All in all, our first dinner in Nagano ended off with a good note. Komatsuya is truly one glowing gem awaiting for more people to uncover its goodness.

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Komatsuya こまつや
〒380-0867 長野県長野市西之門町500-8
Operating hours: 1130 - 1500 hrs (last order @ 1430 hrs); 1800 - 2200 hrs (last order @ 2100 hrs)
Closed on Wednesdays, every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month.
http://www.komatu-ya.com/index.php

How to get there?

(1) By bus. Board the bus heading for Zenkoji Temple at Bus Stop #1 on Zenkoji Exit of Nagano JR Station and alight at Zenkoji Daimon (善光寺大門). About 3 minutes walk from the bus stop.