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“Great atmosphere!”
Review of Il Ponentino

Il Ponentino
Ranked #275 of 7,942 Restaurants in Chuo
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff
Neighborhood: Ginza / Tokyo Nihonbashi
Picton, Australia
Level Contributor
40 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Great atmosphere!”
Reviewed June 22, 2013

We stayed at the Hotel Gracery Ginza for a night and this restaurant was in the next block, downstairs, off the street. It's usually hard when you are visiting a new place and looking for somewhere with good food at a reasonable price. We both felt like eating Italian. We looked at the menu on the street and it sounded good - but we had no idea what the restaurant was actually like! We slowly walked down the stairs and waited at the bottom for someone to great us. Looking around - I saw a counter to our left with an open kitchen behind and the chefs busily going about their jobs. We were received by a waiter and shown to our table at the back of the restaurant where we were given menus in Japanese (with English also) and could look around the place. It was an open restaurant and reminded me of a cavern. Tastefully decorated, it felt warm and friendly. The wait staff were very welcoming, spoke good English and looked after us very well. The food was some of the best we had tasted after our 2 weeks in Japan (actually, we didn't have one bad feed of any kind). The pastas were beautiful and filling. The champagne and red wine were also very enjoyable (the meal cost us just under 5000 Yen for 2 people).The restaurant was fairly crowded and had a great atmosphere. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves - so we did too!!

Visited June 2013
4 Thank Chris_Picton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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41 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Great Britain
Level Contributor
310 reviews
169 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
“Very authentic, tasty food!”
Reviewed May 16, 2013

Had one of the set meals for lunch. Food was very authentic, freshly made & tasty . Very good service. Good salad starter. Pasta or pizza for main course - we had one of the pasta dishes which was freshly cooked (not over done) and very good. Only the Tiramisu was offered for desert when there was supposed to be a choice from 4 options. Very good coffee & smooth tasting red wine.
We returned for dinner the next evening and found a wider dining menu which was also very good. food again was very tasty, very good service and again a good selection of wine. We can also recommend the Bellinis.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank FromtheEast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
136 reviews
83 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“A Bit of Italy in the Ginza”
Reviewed April 23, 2013

After eating fish, fish and more fish (often raw) for a week, the idea of a good Italian meal was tempting. We didn't have reservations any place so we wandered around and found this little basement restaurant. Once inside, you forget you are in a basement. We had a warm welcome, great Italian food, good and fairly inexpensive wine. The service was both friendly and professional. We were sent away with a little bag of biscotti. A definite go-to if you are looking for something different.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank TMR4roses
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
98 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Delightful Italian restaurant on the Ginza”
Reviewed November 6, 2011

We stumbled on Il Ponentino after being turned away (without reservations) from the seafood restaurant on the 8th floor in the same building. After the sniffing the air and deciding that it smelled like an Italian restaurant, we thought we'd give a try. And we were very glad that we did.

We started with an appetizer of marinated squid & octopus and a green salad. Very fresh ingredients in both. The squid & octopus were pleasantly astringent. The salad was more "California," than Italian -- beautiful greens and radicchio, with blood oranges and cauliflower, with a blood orange dressing. For the main course, my husband had grilled swordfish, while I had spaghetti arribiata with Italian sausage. The pasta was cooked al dente, and had the right amount of zip; I thought that the seasoning of the sausage was a bit "flat" and needed more fennel, but my husband disagreed. For dessert, we shared a tiramisu, which was of a much soupier consistency than what one gets in the States -- i.e., not many ladyfingers -- but had the authentic flavors. The meal was accompanied by a very fresh, authentic tasting foccacio.

The servers were gracious and very accomodating. Refilled our bread basket without any request. In addition to the bottle of Montepulciano that we purchased, we were also served a complementary glass of a crisp, young white Italian wine (as were other patrons).

(The restaurant is located in the basement level of the Jewelbox Ginza building, which is about 3 blocks south of the Ginza metro station, on the east side of the street.)

  • Visited November 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank MBA60302
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Splendid innovative restaurant”
Reviewed March 19, 2011

This restaurant is well worth the search necessary to find it below street level near the Tiffany store on the Ginza. The fusion of Japanese and Italian flavors may sound peculiar, but it is delicious and enjoyable for those who wish to try something truly new. Presentation is likewise splendid.

  • Visited February 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank econoclass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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