BYOB in Tel Aviv?

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BYOB in Tel Aviv?

Postby Ben S » Tue Jul 07, 2009 4:43 pm

Rogov (or anyone),

Would you be able to recommend a nice inexpensive-moderate place near central-Northern Tel Aviv that has a BYOB policy, preferably with no corkage fee? I'd like to host a wine tasting dinner soon - planning to do a vertical Cabernet and a horizontal Pinot affair, with maybe some others thrown in. Central to Northern Tel Aviv would be perfect (let's say somewhere between Allenby and Jabotinsky). Thanks.
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Re: BYOB in Tel Aviv?

Postby Daniel Rogov » Tue Jul 07, 2009 5:07 pm

Ben,Hi...

Most Tel Aviv restaurants today have a BYOB policy but most do, quite justifiably, charge corkage. Truth is some of those corkage fees are outrageous, some quite reasonable. If you come with a large enough group to enjoy a meal with your tasting some will waive the corkage. Should be checked in advance.

Among good bets for casual but good dining and good stemware as required:

El Barrio 12 Nachalat Binyamin St., Tel Aviv. (03) 6960512. Daily 18:00-24:00 and Tues and Fri from 11:00. Tel 03 6960512. Funky and simple but warm, welcoming and with fun to eat dishes. A fine platter of proscuitto, Serrano and coppa hams; good chorizo sausages with puree; shrimps with olive oil, garlic and fresh herbs; bow-tie pasta with a truffled cream sauce. ***

Adora 226 Ben Yehuda St. (03) 605-0896. Daily 12:00-03:00. Appealing bistro atmosphere with a modern touch. Good chicken and goose liver pate and coquilles St. Jacques with turnip cream as starters. Among most appealing main courses, lamb sausages and crab-filled raviolis. Moderate ***

Radio Rosco: 97 Allenby St. (03) 560-0334. Daily 12:00-02:00. Fun to eat Italian food with a distinct Italo-American touch in a very pleasant setting. Open with a variety of crostini, go on to Tuscan beef tartare, continue with raviolis or other pasta dishes but whatever you do, don't miss the thin-crusted pizzas here. Moderate. ***
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Re: BYOB in Tel Aviv?

Postby Isi M » Tue Jul 07, 2009 5:17 pm

I have experienced "droit de bouchon" ranging from 30 to 60 nis in general.
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Re: BYOB in Tel Aviv?

Postby Daniel Rogov » Tue Jul 07, 2009 5:47 pm

I recently received an email from a not-yet forum member very much on the subject of corkage (d'mai chalitza in Hebrew), his note concerning the restaurant Moul Yam. His name and email was, of course on the correspondence. Following, but without his name in case he does not want it to appear,is the letter in full. I shall respond in a separate post...

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Dear Daniel,

A week ago I sent the following e-mail to the managers of MulYam. Until now, no answer.
I would very much appreciate your expert opinion on my proposal.

Best regards,


----- Original Message -----
From: xxxx
To: info@mulyam.com
Sent: Sunday, June 28, 2009 7:27 PM
Subject: Corking (halitza)


Dear Sirs,

This is directed to the person or persons who decided on your policy for charging corking at a rate of 25 SH per person per bottle, contrary to the policy of any other restaurant I know in the world, where corking is charged PER BOTTLE.

We are a group of six friends, all professionals, all wine lovers, and four of us are wine collectors.

We meet regularly for lunch at different first rate restaurants, and the collectors bring, each one, a bottle of wine to share with the friends.

Recently we went to Rafael and we were charged, for our four bottles, at a rate of 35 SH per bottle, a total of 140 SH.

We would like to enjoy, as a group, your excellent cuisine ( I am particularly fond of your oysters and scallops), but we CANNOT do it, because you would charge us, instead of the 140 SH of Rafael, the absurd sum of 4 x 25 x 6 = 600 SH.

I do not know who invented your method, but I strongly encourage you to change it according to the normal procedure. Even if your charge 50 SH per bottle, instead of the 35 SH that Rafael charges, we would have to pay 200 SH, which is admissible.

Sincerely yours,
xxxx

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Re: BYOB in Tel Aviv?

Postby Ben S » Tue Jul 07, 2009 5:54 pm

Very interesting. I'll certainly check when I make reservations.
So that's what d'mai chalutz means. I was wondering about that - "pioneer money" sounded absurd.
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Re: BYOB in Tel Aviv?

Postby Daniel Rogov » Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:01 pm

With regard to the above correspondence, this is not the first time that the corkage fee at Moul Yam has been raised. In fact, it was quite a source of discussion on the "old" forum.

My reaction is quite simple. First of all it is the privilege of any restaurant to charge whatever they like for absolutely any service they provide. Whether potential clients then decide that the charges being asked are reasonable, moderate, dear or outrageous is up to them, and if we decide that we do not want to pay those charges we should simply not incur them.

I do believe that a corkage charge is logical from both the point of view of the client and the restaurant. From the client's point of view it means that they can bring special bottles from their own holdings to consume with their meals and to pay at least a relatively reasonable fee for that privilege. From the restaurant's point of view, they do, after all, have to provide not only the stemware for the wines but the service that is attendant to opeing our serving them. Along with that one has to consider also the usual costs of breakage for fine glassware and clients should not take such services for granted. I also firmly that restaurants also have the right to refuse the bring your own bottle activity. That too is their privilege.

The problem comes about when the service charge (corkage fee, if we prefer) becomes outrageously high. I do not know but cannot help but think that in the case of Moul Yam this is simply a way of saying that they prefer that clients do not bring their own bottles and thus discouraging them by this high fee. In these difficult economic days many restaurants both in Israel and in France and the USA have been lowering their corkage fees purposely in order to encourage people to dine at their establishments. Truth be told, here too that is a question best left to the owners of restaurants and if they are not at all "suffering" from at least a temporary loss of business because of that economic situation, I suppose they might not feel a need to encourage that.

Questions to Myself:

1. Do I consider the corkage fee at Moul Yam to be within the realm of reason? No way.
2. Would I bring my own bottles to Moul Yam, no matter how special the wines and pay this fee. No.
3. Will I stop dining at Moul Yam? Also no and that both because this has always been and remains one of the very best restaurants in the country, competing in quality with fine restaurants anywhere in the world and because they also have a fine wine list from which one can select bottles ranging from the moderately to the very highly priced.
4. Would I sacrifice some dining at Moul Yam when I want to bring my own bottles either for myself or a group of friends? Yes.

As to bringing one's own bottles to any restaurant, a few rules of thumb.

1. Do not bring a wine to a restaurant that is already on their wine list.
2. It is definitely in poor taste to bring wines to a wine bar.
3. Do not bring wines that are not in keeping with the status of the restaurant and its menu. (In other words, no magnum bottles of Gato Negro to a fine restaurant)
4. It is often a courtesy to offer the sommelier and/or chef a tasting of the fine wines that you have brought with you
5. It is also a courtesy to phone ahead and inquire about whether bringing one's own bottles is allowed and to ask in advance about the corkage fee.

Dissenting views are, of course, invited.

Best
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Re: BYOB in Tel Aviv?

Postby Luis Osin » Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:46 pm

I totally agree with the rules of thumb Daniel presents, and I faithfully comply with them.

The point that has disappeared from the discussion, and I would like to revive, is that the protest to Mul Yam is not about what they charge per bottle, but rather about the absurd and, to my knowledge, unique to Mul Yam, way of charging, which is a fee per person per bottle. This means that, if you bring a bottle for two people, you pay 50 SH, which is high but not terrible but, if you bring two bottles for four people (same consumption rate), you'll be forced to pay 200 SH, which is, per capita, double than the previous case. None of the correct considerations made by Daniel about glassware maintenance and service could justify this doubling of the per capita rate.

Best regards,
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Re: BYOB in Tel Aviv?

Postby Ben S » Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:48 am

Rogov,

Might you be able to recommend something that serves (mostly) kosher food but would be open on Shabbat? Or something kosher altogether, for an evening other than Friday? Some of my friends might not feel comfortable around Chorizo and scallops.

-Ben
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Re: BYOB in Tel Aviv?

Postby Daniel Rogov » Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:04 am

Ben, Hi.....

I would most highly recommend Lilith. I would make arrangements in advance with them of course and, if there are enough people in your group you might consider taking the private room. Somewhat more expensive than the others earlier discussed but worth the investment. Of course if you are going to be tasting wines in a kosher restaurant, all of the wines you bring with you must be kosher.

The other option of course, depending on the level of observance of your friends, is to use a non-kosher restaurant and for them to restrict themselves to salads and fish dishes.

As to "kosher and open on Shabbat" in Tel Aviv, that wil happen only three weeks after the arrival of the Messiah. It will take even the Messiah three weeks to convince the rabbinical authorities of the logic of that and even then they will probably boycott the Messiah. An exaggeration, but not much of one...... 8)


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Re: BYOB in Tel Aviv?

Postby Ben S » Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:12 am

Thank you for the advice. Aren't the fast-food chains kosher, but for being open on Shabbat?
And how appropriate a measure of time as three weeks, since tomorrow, the 17th of Tammuz, marks the beginning of the Three Weeks, ending with Tisha B'Av.
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Re: BYOB in Tel Aviv?

Postby Daniel Rogov » Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:19 am

Ben, Hi.....

indeed some of the fast-food chains do serve kosher food but do not have a kashrut certificate because they are open on Saturdays. The kosher observant has to take care though, for within the same chain you may find restaurants that are certified as kosher, restaurants that are not certified but serve only kosher food and branches that serve cheeseburgers and milk-based milkshakes and are thus obviously not kosher.

The vast majority of restaurants and fast-food places that are kosher are indeed closed on the Sabbath, the few exceptions being in the Upper Galilee where the rabbinical authorities gave a special dispensation because without the weekend tourist trade most of those places would not have enough trade to stay in business.

Many may not be aware that in most of the world restaurants can be declared kosher and open on the Shabbat, the requrement dealing with the kashrut of the food and not of the staff and its working policies. In Israel such sanity has not yet come to the fore.

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Re: BYOB in Tel Aviv?

Postby Ben S » Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:58 am

For the record, Adora and Radio Rosco have corkage fees of 40 NIS, and Lilith is 35 NIS. Ten bucks per bottle is quite reasonable. El Barrio isn't open yet but I'll check.
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Re: BYOB in Tel Aviv?

Postby Eli R » Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:40 pm

Ben, Hi,

I suggest you separate the issue of general corking fees from a wine tasting dinner event like the one you are planning.
You first need to find the restaurants that appreciate wine and wine tasting and have a private room suitable for such events and would be able to accommodate for your dinner menu requests. If you intend to taste in flights and require at least 3 quality glasses per person, this couldl limit your choices.

If you order a fixed price full dinner, you can include the requirement that corking fee will be waved, or set at a nominal fee per person regardless of the number of bottles.
If the food part is not brainer, you can check wine bars and also wine shops that would cater food that would go well with the wine tasting.

If kosher is not a requirement El-Bario will be an excellent pick.

Eli
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Re: BYOB in Tel Aviv?

Postby Rani Osnat » Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:30 pm

I stopped going to Moul Yam not because of their corkage policy but because the food was bland and mediocre (or worse than mediocre) the last few times I went there. There are enough other good restaurants with decent corkage policies (which, I may add, are often waived or reduced voluntarily).
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Re: BYOB in Tel Aviv?

Postby Mike_F » Thu Jul 09, 2009 1:17 pm

Rani - Which are your top 3-5 choices with decent corkage policies? thanks, Mike
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Re: BYOB in Tel Aviv?

Postby Luis Osin » Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:25 am

In spite of the fact that I resent my polite request to Mul Yam, their management decided not to answer. I think this attitude is unacceptable, very unpolite. I decided to suspend my visits to Mul Yam until I receive an answer, positivo or negative, it doesn't matter.

So, Daniel, which other restaurant would you recommend with good oysters and scallops?

Thanks and best regards,
Luis
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Re: BYOB in Tel Aviv?

Postby Daniel Rogov » Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:37 am

Luis, Hi.....

Oysters are difficult to come by in Tel Aviv these days but you will find fine scallops/coquilles St. Jacques at Chloelys, Manta Ray and Dagim 206

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Re: BYOB in Tel Aviv?

Postby Rani Osnat » Fri Jul 17, 2009 4:59 am

Mike_F wrote:Rani - Which are your top 3-5 choices with decent corkage policies? thanks, Mike


Raphael, Adora, Carmella BaNachala, Toto - in no particular order
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