The red-framed doors and purple canopy that mark the front of Le Verre Vole a Tokyo are a cheerful sight at any time of year. In the chill dark dead of winter, their glow is even more welcoming, especially if you’re arriving on foot.
Tokyo’s best new bistro is not hard to find, but it’s set well away from any of the bright-light areas where the city’s mainstream nightlife is concentrated. Instead, it has touched down on a quiet stretch of Meguro-dori populated by interior-design stores and vintage-furniture boutiques.
Which is just as you’d expect from the first overseas offshoot of one the buzziest new-generation Parisian bistro/wine bars. It’s a long way to the Meguro River from the Canal Saint-Martin — the once-grimy neighborhood in the French capital that the original Verre Vole helped make hip — but the transition has been seamless.
In large part, that is thanks to proprietor Ryotaro Miyauchi. He worked in France for seven years, close to four of them at Le Verre Vole, and has assimilated the lively, friendly, informal style that characterizes the contemporary Paris bistro scene.