Twenty minutes by car from Chino Station in Nagano Prefecture, ca'enne is a restaurant in an idyllic location. Reflecting on the restaurant’s surroundings in Tateshina Kogen at the foot of Mt. Yatsugatake, chef Noriyuki Usui says, "I was excited to see similar scenery to the Italian forest in which I studied," and demonstrates his skills for guests here.
Usui hails from Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture. As a university graduate, he was drawn to Italian cuisine, and after training at several restaurants in Tokyo, left for Italy. There, he studied at a starred restaurant in Piedmont and at a prosciutto workshop in Emilia-Romagna. After returning to Japan, he polished his skills at restaurants in Roppongi and Minami Aoyama before becoming independent. In April of 2020, he opened ca'enne, choosing the Yatsugatake area for its abundance in natural ingredients.
The cuisine at ca'enne is cooked with firewood. Grill ingredients over live fire, as if wrapping them, cooks and adds fragrance without losing moisture. Far from the bustle of the city, the restaurant is located in an expansive area where it can coexist with nature, and also allows for maximum use of live-fire.
The restaurant’s specialty is their naturally matured "prosciutto", cured by the prosciutto workshop established at the foot of Utsukushigahara Kogen in the neighboring town, making use of the chef’s experience at an authentic Italian prosciutto factory. In addition, vegetables and herbs are grown in the restaurant’s own garden. "I want to present freshly picked ingredients," Usui says. It isn’t uncommon for guests to remark on the aroma of herbs picked minutes before their arrival; in addition, wild plants and mushrooms from the local Satoyama woodland are also superb.
Popular for its pleasantly chewy texture, the restaurant’s pasta is rolled using a long rolling pin called a matarello instead of a pasta machine. Meanwhile, additional ingredients such as ayu (sweetfish), wild game, meat and eggs, as well as local ingredients from the Yatsugatake area are offered to diners.
There are a total of 10 seats at the counter, plus tables by an inviting fireplace. Guests can enjoy Italian cuisine as envisioned by chef Usui, served at the highest location at the food of Mt. Yatsugatake, while enjoying the company of family and friends. Truly a Satoyama restaurant worth visiting.
* The availability of this webpage does not guarantee that the restaurant presented provides services in English, unless otherwise stated. Please be aware that English services may also depend on staff availability at the restaurant.
25 minutes by car from Chino Station (JR Chuo Main Line (Tokyo - Shiojiri)) (Parking available)