If the users of online dining database Tabelog are to be believed, Stay Gold is the finest bar in the whole of Nakameguro. Now, it would take us a good few months and a serious flirtation with alcoholism to confirm that statement, but a recent visit to this third-floor hangout suggested that its reputation isn’t entirely undeserved.
Stay Gold has been open for two years now, but the interior looks older, its stylish trappings offset by worn floorboards and scuffed bar stools. Most of the seating is at tables, some of which are partitioned off by see-through black curtains to give the illusion of privacy.
The girlfriend ordered a “Yuzu Royal” (¥950) from the selection of champagne cocktails, which turned out to be a savvy choice. I was less sure what was so special about my “Special Highball” (¥800), though it must have had something going for it because she ended up ordering one of those for herself, too. If you want to get drunk like a 5-year-old, you could try one of the “Wanbo!” cocktails: booze-laced jelly balls that come dunked in a shot glass of soda. They’re billed as a new way of enjoying alcohol, and I suppose they are—just not one I’d ever choose to repeat.
The kitchen stays open until 2am, and does a nice line in tastily bastardized Mediterranean cuisine. The potato tortilla (¥800) was cooked fresh and still runny in the middle; though it would probably make a Spaniard balk, it was thoroughly agreeable to us. The vegetable peperoncino spaghetti was also nicely done (¥1,000), and while the grilled gnocchi with mushroom-cream sauce (¥900) was more like potato croquette, we didn’t have complaints about how it tasted. The only disappointment was the mushrooms al ajillo (¥800), which arrived at the table with an impressive sizzle that their under-garlicked flavor couldn’t match.