Stylish Trattoria in Mercure Kyoto Hotel near JR Kyoto Station
Mercure Hotel Kyoto was open only about a year ago (September, 2020). Mercure is one of the global hotel brands (I think it is headquartered in France) and the quality of their hospitality is well-known. When I first entered the hotel, I found the ambience was very cool - beautiful and unique interior decorations. Also the lobby area and the library located downstairs are spacious. I do not know about their guest rooms, but I guess they are also nice and comfortable.
Okey, let me talk about the restaurant. The main entrance is on the other side of the hotel entrance (although you can enter the restaurant from the hotel front). The entrance is gorgeous. When you step into the restaurant, the first thing you see is the bar & lounge adjacent to the main dining room. "Trattoria" sounds like relatively a small Italian restaurant, but this place is not. It is huge based on the standard in Kyoto. Probably as many as 120 guests can seat (bar and the main dining area). Interior decor is eclectic incorporating European and Japanese elements. I really like the open kitchen where several cooks are working together.
Very affordable Lunch
Originally, I expected the foods and beverages would be reasonably expensive, but that was not true. Very affordable ! I ordered "Pizza or Pasta" lunch course wich came with a nice plate of appetizers, Pizza or Pasta of the day and a cup of Coffee. Yen1,200 (tax and service charge inclusive) ! I ordered Pizza Margerita and my wife picked Potato Gnocchi with half-boiled Egg on top. These were very tasty.
Appetizer changes daily. I dined there sevral times now, but one of the appetizers was a plate of fresh Seabream Crudo with sea salt, Canteloupe melon with Prosciuto and seasonal greens, plus Carrot ? Espuma (like a savory foam).
I have not tried their dinner menu yet - just because of the continued restrictions under state of emergency due to Covid-19 pandemic - I do not dine out in the evening these days because I tend to linger longer when I eat & drink at such a nice place.
I love lunch time drinking. Trattoria M Kyoto is one of the perfect places for that. Their lunch time beverage menu offers draft beer and glass wines (red/white). Yen500 each (tax and service charge inclusive). I started off with a glass of beer, followed by white wine and red wine. Wines were very tasty even though they were their "House" wines - I do not know where they are from (maybe from Italy). In my experience in the last several visits there, their wine pours were pretty generous.
I took a look at their wine list for dinner time and noticed many of the wines are in affordable range. It starts from Yen 3,520 by the bottle (tax/service inclusive). If you are looking for a really high-end wine, they do have ones such as Brunello di Montarcino from Toscana for Yen 17,600.
They also offer nice selections of Whiskies and Cocktails. A shot of Suntory "Yamazaki" (NV) is Yen990 - it is usually 1.5 to twice the price at many of the bars in Kyoto.
I can't wait to go back to Trattoria M Kyoto. After the pandemic calms down, I will go there for dinner with a nice bottle of wine.