By Douglas Habecker
Translated by Anna Yang
108, DaDun 17th St, Xitun Dist
Hours: 5 pm-12 am (closed Mon)
NT$200/person minimum charge.
For a variety of reasons, from parking to pure laziness, it's often much better to make just one destination both your dining and late-night hang-out for drinks and relaxation. That's definitely what 75 Ristorante does well, whether you're seeking excellent dinner fare, a sports bar, a live-music spot, or all of the above at the same time.
Ideally located in Taichung's "Other Canal District" (see August, 2014 article on www.taiwanfun.com), on the corner of DaDun 17th and DaRong West streets and meters from WenXin and ShiZheng roads, this place bills itself as a sports bar, with games playing on a screen downstairs and a big projection system upstairs. The smaller first floor reinforces this ambiance with barrel-style tables and an electronic darts machine, while the upstairs feels more like a comfortable restaurant with a small bar and windows looking on the canal across the street.
According to management, customers can call ahead to request specific sports games, and there is also live music every Wednesday and Friday from 8 to 10 p.m. Although this place is officially open to midnight, the management seems relaxed about staying open significantly later if there is a good crowd.
For drinks, there are two draft beers--Kronenbourg 1664 and Heineken on tap (NT$200 for 500ml; NT$1000 for 3 liters)--with a buy three-get-one-free deal. Bottled booze includes a good selection of hard ciders (NT$160-180) and Guinness (NT$200). There are also other spirits, shots, whiskies and even absinthe. For those driving or avoiding alcohol for other reasons, there are plenty of soft drinks,coffees and Twinings teas.
As its name hints, Ristorante 75 also serves a range of excellent entrees, salads and appetizers. A truly interesting Easts-meets-West invention is the Seafood Pasta with Wine & Butter Sauce (NT$280), a creamy dish made surprisingly good and extra fragrant by the use of Shaoxing wine in the sauce. Equally savory is the Mushroom Risotto with Truffles (NT$320), made with black and white truffles. Good as drinking snacks are a full range items from Buffalo Wings and Fried Calamari to the peppery Chicken Strips (NT$160).