• The grand opening of the Hibiya Midtown complex is March 29th, and it promises many exciting new shops. Kyoto Hyotei, with a 450-year history, will bring a taste of Kyoto to Tokyo. Ginza Star Bar will have a counter in the new complex. Chef Satoshi Kakegawa, in collaboration with Niigata’s Cave d’Occi, will open Värmen, featuring a raw bar and wine-friendly plates from the South of France and Spain. Celebrity chef Hal Yamashita will present a casual-style izakaya with Kansai-style udon and robata. Ebisu’s popular Kikuya tempura tachigui (standing bar) will have a branch. The tachinomi/kappo Sanbun will close its Ginza branch to reopen in Hibiya Midtown. Chef Jody Williams of NYC’s Buvette will open a Gallic bistro with a menu similar to that at her NYC shop. www.hibiya.tokyo-midtown.com
• Chef Ryohei Hashimoto, a veteran of the renowned Kikunoi, is opening his own restaurant, Tenoshima, in Aoyama this spring. www.tenoshima.com
• Chef Mark Sekita of Mark’s Table in Ginza highly recommends Restaurant Julia, serving modern American in Ebisu. Chef Nao serves an omakase menu that is paired with wine by sommelier Kenichiro Motohashi.
• Kudos to baker Kenichi Warita for opening Beaver Bread in Higashi-Nihonbashi, an area lacking in bakeries. Beaver Bread serves both classic French breads as well as Japanese oyatsupan, like mentaiko pan or anpan. www.facebook.com/beaver.bread
• Veronica Persica is a new Italian wine bar and craft beer spot on our radar near Hakusan Station. www.facebook.com/st.veronica.persica
• Several Australian restaurants have opened recently. Here’s another one to add to the growing list: 64 Barrack Street in Shinbashi. Open for lunch and dinner. barrackst64.com
• Ramen fans will want to check out a new documentary out called Ramenheads. www.ramenheads.com
• An upscale yakitori-ya in Ebisu with a nice wine list is Kicho. It features a gorgeous counter overlooking the grill. www.facebook.com/KichoYAKITORI/
• Tokyo still does not have enough Mexican restaurants, so look forward to Chronic Tacos, a California Mexican Grill, opening in Ginza in early March. chronictacos.jp
• Some great tips from Sushi Geek. The first one is about Sushi Keita in Tsukiji, which offers a good cost-performance lunch. Ginza Sushi Arai has opened a second counter. A good tip as it’s hard to get a seat at the main counter. www.thesushigeek.com
Read the February issue of the Insider’s Guide to Eating in and Dining Out.