There are few cuisines as misrepresented in America as Japanese cuisine. Most American think of Japanese restaurants as a place that serves raw fish or as one where you sit around a grill with strangers while a flamboyant chef bangs and clangs his knives and spatulas on the metal surface and then tries to flip a shrimp tail into his chef’s toque.
Japanese cuisine is so much more than kabuki theater with Ginzu knives.
Japanese cuisine is varied and offers myriad experiences. Yes, there is the tradition of sushi, which can feature raw fish presented in a variety of ways. But it can be cooked fish, and it can be beef. In fact, it can be some of the best beef in the world, a variety known as Kobe beef.
I want you to experience Kobe beef. And I want you to know that a meal in a Japanese restaurant can be a fine dining experience. So our next supper club will be at Rangetsu, the Japanese restaurant that opened earlier this year in Maitland.
Of course, longtime Central Floridians know that for many years Rangetsu was located on International Drive, and that it offered one of the area’s first tastes of sushi and Japanese cuisine. If you were also a longtime reader of my reviews, you also know that I wasn’t much of a fan of that earlier version of Rangetsu.
But now that it’s out of the tourist corridor, it seems to have refocused on providing a genuine cultural experience, and I like the new Rangetsu very much. In case you missed it, here’s a link to a review I did earlier this year.
Something few longtime local fans know is that the International Drive Rangetsu, which opened in 1986, was a second location for the original Rangetsu, which opened in Tokyo’s Ginza district in 1947, just after World War II. That restaurant was opened by Masanori Konaka. Eventually, his son Masayasu joined the business. And now, Masanori’s grandson, Masaaki, leads the company.
I’m pleased to announce that Masaaki Konaka will be visiting Central Florida this month and will be our host for the Supper Club.
This is a wonderful opportunity. Our plans call for us to gather on the patio at 6:30 p.m. for sushi and samplings of sake (along with some instructions on this misunderstood wine). Then we’ll take our seats in the ultra modern dining room for an array of appetizers followed by an extraordinary Japanese “surf and turf” selection of Rangetsu’s wonderful Chilean sea bass and the storied Kobe beef, each paired with “western” wines. We’ll end with one of the best creme brulees you’ll ever taste.
Cost of the dinner is $75 per person, which includes tax and gratuity. (That’s about what you’d pay if you just had the Kobe beef!) Complimentary valet parking is available. I hope you’ll join me, Mr. Konaka and the staff of Rangetsu for what is certain to be a very special gathering of Scott Joseph’s Supper Club.