Classic Italian dishes incorporating traditional Japanese ingredients and techniques. Japanese dishes using Italian ingredients and techniques. What?! You read that right.

Chef/owner Tom Cuomo honed his craft under Wylie Dufresne at WD-50, Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi at Carbone and Parm in NYC, and most recently under Matt Kelly at Mateo Bar de Tapas in Durham. In between all of that, he’s helped open and run restaurants in Los Angeles and Florida. Papa Shogun represents his and the experienced team’s vision of giving you new perspectives on familiar foods in a refined yet fun environment. Come join us for the adventure.

Someone didn’t want to try the first peanut butter and jelly either. Guess what – it worked. Japanese/Italian? It exceeds expectations on all fronts.

Our meal started with some very flavorful popcorn and moved through several small plates including a slightly pickled cauliflower salad (giardinara giapponese), fresh pulled mozzarella, seared rice balls (yaki onigiri) and ending with the nightly special shrimp scampi. The plates delivery to the table was well paced and each dish built on the next even though I think they could have come in any order and tasted amazing. We decided to go for dessert (and keep sharing plates) and had the very unique cannoli terzetto – a trio of filled pastries with red bean paste, green tea and chocolate hazelnut.

Close to Downtown but a little off culinary Main Street – Papa Shogun is definitely worth a visit. We stuck to sharing small plates on this visit but the pasta and large plates were very tempting.

And yes – we are definitely members of the clean plate club.