Portion sizes are generous, but the prices for most items are too high
I eat here every now and then when I can no longer deal with tiny Japanese portions and I require completely inoffensive food. For instance, today I was not feeling the best and could not bring myself to cook. When I thought of nearby restaurants that would satisfy my immediate need for large portions of well-prepared but ultimately unsurprising food, Aux Bacchanales came to mind.
Service was attentive, if a bit slow. I do enjoy the grub here, even if it is 50% too expensive for what you get.
Given this French restaurant is located in prime Ark Hills, its popular locale attracts many bankers, hedge fund managers, Intercontinental ANA Hotel guests, and other working professionals in the immediate area for lunch and happy hour. To sum up this affordable place, it offers a value-for-money meal as well as provide a robust and vibrant lunchtime experience.
My typical order is the fish of the day selection (soup and coffee included) for 890yen. This menu rotates on a weekly basis, and can be confirmed on its website before your visit. Singles, doubles, and groups will find this restaurant suitable to most tastes as it serves meat, fish, and vegetarian dishes. If the weather is nice outside (standing heat lamps are available), grab an al fresco table. Complimentary bread service is available but butter is provided at a charge (no idea if there is charge for EVOO (extra virgin olive oil).
If the markets are crapping out and you don't have much time to spare, there is an annex Boulangerie (bakery) that serves 12 types of deli-fresh sandwiches ranging from 300-473yen over the counter.
Aux Bacchanales bills itself as an authentic French-style brasserie together with being a cafe and a bakery. This is probably one of the few places where the waiters sport long hair and look as if they only shave occasionally if the mood strikes them that morning. To compound the illusion that you are no longer in Tokyo, the staff shout their orders in French to each other (un cafe si vous plait) and the patio features rows of tables overlooking the street adding to the impression that you are in Paris.
The food is rather good. I've visited for lunch a few times and have always been satisfied. On this particular occasion I ordered the fish dish of the day, which turned out to be a fish mousse wrapped in cabbage and served with a clam-based cream sauce. Another time I had the pork roast, which was super tender and melted in my mouth. Be warned however that the portions are small. To finish satiating my hunger, I took advantage of the unlimited baguettes you can order from your waiter (there is a charge for the butter though).
Aux Bacchanales also runs a cafe and bakery service. At the end of your meal, ask the waiter for the cakes of the day and s/he will bring to your table a tray with the day's offerings. If not, head by yourself to the baked goodies section and tell the cashier to put your dessert on a plate. The baked goods are not superb, but not bad either. They are among few places in Tokyo that make Palmiers, though I found theirs too sweet.
This is a popular destination for foreigners. The restaurant knows that and either some of the staff speaks English or they are very used to serving foreigners. If you happen to visit the branch near the Akasaka Mitsuke station, try to secure a patio table, which overlooks a gorgeous Japanese garden on the other side of the road. Bring business associates, friends, dates, family or even for solo dinning Aux Bacchanales is a good choice.