"Israeli" restaurants for foreign guests ??

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"Israeli" restaurants for foreign guests ??

Postby Mike_F » Sun Nov 09, 2008 5:08 am

It's that time of the year again, so reviving a query I posted on the previous forum. Updates and comments for autumn of 2008??

thanks,

Mike

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Mike: "Israeli" restaurants for foreign guests ?? 23:45 September 23,2007

Autumn is visitor's season, and I need updated ideas for restaurants in Tel-Aviv and central region that provide fine cuisine, not too expensive (limit 250 NIS per person including wine), and with some attempt at least to provide an Israeli or Mediterranean flair to the cuisine. Please no suggestions for restaurants that specialize in the only uniquely Israeli contribution to gastronomy - the stuffable pita... . Conversely, no fancy French bistros, the guests who come here are not looking for an imitation of Paris, no matter how good the imitation might be.

thanks in advance,

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Rogov: Re: "Israeli" restaurants for foreign guests ?? (Mike) 14:03 September 24,2007

Mike, Hi....

How about the following as starters:

Carmella baNachala (Tel Aviv)
Chloelys (Ramat Gan)
Helena (Caesaria)
Golf Bistro (Caesaria)
Herbert Samuel (Tel Aviv)
Kimmel (Tel Aviv)
Ronnie James (Tel Aviv)
Lilith (Tel Aviv) Kosher
Dita (Tel Aviv)
Pri Megadim (Maskerit Batia)

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Mike: Re: "Israeli" restaurants for foreign guests ?? (Rogov) 16:52 September 24,2007

I find this a list of some of the 'usual suspects', which is fair enough if there is nothing that can fit the parameters of my query. For example, from this list I have eaten a few times at Carmella baNachala, at Helena, and at Pri Megadim, and although all three are fine restaurants I wonder how you define their cuisine as having an 'Israeli' flair?
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Rogov: Re: "Israeli" restaurants for foreign guests ?? (Mike) 17:53 September 24,2007

When I think of a restaurant as having an "Israeli flair" that involves local chefs using both traditional and modern cookery methods that rely heavily on local ingredients. ... In a sense, I am referring to modern Mediterranean cookery.

As often I have written, I do not believe there is an Israeli cuisine per se, nor do I believe there should be one at this stage. On the folk level there are of course shwarma, felafel, couscous, humous, shakshouka, burrekas and even gefilte fish and cholent but as much as those can be superb when at their best indeed even gefilte fish but none of those is the least bit "Israeli" in its roots.

What does give a restaurant a unique Israeli twist are those chefs who combine their culinary and ethnic backgrounds and ingredients traditional to the region (some in unique combinations) with traditional and not-so-traditional cooking methods, some French, some Italian, some far more ancient.

There may be a few truly Israeli dishes (e.g. Tsachi Buchester's halvah parfait; Chaim Cohen's goose liver with tchina) but those do not make up an entire cuisine.

I am most open to disagreement on this. Truth is, I'd love some concrete examples that might make me think a uniquely Israeli cuisine is developing.
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Re: "Israeli" restaurants for foreign guests ??

Postby Daniel Rogov » Sun Nov 09, 2008 6:04 am

Mike, Hi.....


If "that time of the year" has come once again, who are we to deny it?

First thought is that of the list above Ronnie James and Golf Bistro have, alas, gone on to puppy paradise. Second thought is that a bit of reflection is required. When things quiet down a bit today, I'll get into that reflective mood and will respond, probably this evenng.

Best
Rogov
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Re: "Israeli" restaurants for foreign guests ??

Postby Mike_F » Sun Nov 09, 2008 6:29 am

Daniel Rogov wrote: I'll get into that reflective mood and will respond, probably this evenng.


Thanks in advance. And given the budget realities in the current economic climate, please bear in mind the 250 shekels limit per person including wine...

Mike
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Re: "Israeli" restaurants for foreign guests ??

Postby Daniel Rogov » Mon Nov 10, 2008 12:49 pm

Mike, Hi….

Keeping in mind your desire for places that will in some way represent the local scene as well as your budgetary restrictions, I believe each of the following will do nicely. Also trying to some extent to avoid "the usual suspects".

As you see, my choices range from the relatively "fancy" to the ultimately simple each, despite its "category" with a distinctly Mediterranean qua Israeli note in the cookery and, in most cases, the atmosphere.

Best
Rogov


Tel Aviv


Fish and Seafood

Barbounia 163 Ben Yehuda St. (03) 524-0961. Sat-Thurs 12:00-24:00, Fri 12:00-18:00. A popular fixed-price fish and seafood restaurant. Good meze, fresh grilled or fried fish, shrimps in garlic, butter and lemon sauce. Reasonable. *

Benny HaDayag Tel Aviv Port, (03) 544-0518. Daily 12:30-00:30. Informal tavernna-style dining. Sit indoors or at water’s edge, start off with the extensive meze and then to baked or grilled fish, calamari or jumbo shrimps in wine, butter and garlic sauce. Reasonable-Moderate. **

Manta Ray: Alma Beach (near the Dolphinarium). (03) 517-4773. Daily 09:00-24:00. Relaxed atmosphere with a splendid view of the sea. Excellent mezes to start and then seafood soup, crabs vinaigrette, grilled drumfish with lemon and sage. Moderate. ***

French

Bruno Azrieli Shopping Ctr. Tel (03) 609-3131. Sun–Thurs 12:00-24:00, Friday 10:00-14:00. Attractive Mediterranean offerings. Grouper carpaccio or fresh anchovies as openers and, then fettuccini with tomato and eggplant sauce or baked sea bass with tomato-vinaigrette.Also good steaks. Moderate. Kosher. ***

Dallal 10 Shabazi St., Neve Tzedek. (03) 510-9292. Daily 12:00-23:00. A Mediterranean haven set in a beautifully renovated building. As first courses, tartare of amberjack, carpaccio of pickled sirloin and as main courses the trio of Dallal burgers (one classic, one with mozzarella cheese and one with pastrami), and any of the fish fillets, each with an appropriate sauce. Good desserts. Moderate. ***

Montifiore Hotel 36 Montefiore St. (03) 564-6100. Daily 07:00-24:00. Comfortably formal but not stuffy. As opening courses, tartar of drum fish with asparagus, consommé with goose liver filled raviolis, sirloin with Sichuan pepper and a Far-Eastern dipping sauce. For main courses consider the pork chop filled with Manchego cheese and wrapped in bacon. Moderate-Expensive. ***

Rokah 73 73 Rokah Blvd. Ramat Aviv (behind the tennis courts). Open daily 12:00-01:00. Tel 03 7448844. French-Provencal cuisine in a charming setting. Best bets include crab bisque, bouillabaisse, octopus risotto, boeuf bourguignon, and for dessert, wine tarte tatin or tiramisu. Moderate. "W" ***

Stefan Braun 99 Allenby. (03) 560-4725. Daily 12:00-03:00. Tucked away in a charming old building, ideal for laid back, late-night dining. Moroccan charira (lamb soup with lentils), baby lamb chops, skewers of entrecote steak and grilled mullard breast. Moderate-Expensive. ***

Middle-Eastern, Turkish, Balkan

Yehuda Avazi 54 HaEtzel (in the HaTikva Quarter). (03) 637-9918. Sun-Thurs 11:00-05:00, Fri until about 17:00, Saturday evenings. Simple but pleasing meze, and grilled meat on skewers. Best bets are grilled goose liver, kebabs, chicken hearts and sheep intestines. Reasonable. Kosher. *

Dr. Shakshouka (Middle Eastern) 3 Beit Eshel, Jaffa. (03) 682-2842. Sun-Thurs 09:30-24:00, Friday until 17:00, Sat night until 01:00. Simple and noisy but with good shakshouka (spiced egg and tomato casserole), kubbeh (burghul filled with meat, rice and pine nuts). Reasonable. Kosher. *

Pot-Pourri

Horace 34 Olei Tzion 34 (in the Flea Market), Jaffa. (077) 216-0040. Daily 10:00-24:00. Funky but with high class, an atmosphere that invokes style as much as it does the good culinary life. Fine Caesar salad, lamb and beef meat balls with pine nuts, a lovely assortment of quiches, and for dessert don't miss the Calvados cake. Reasonable-Moderate. ***

Joz Vey Loz 51 Yehuda HaLevi St. (03) 560-6385. Sun-Thurs 18:00-03:00. One of the smallest and possibly the most funky restaurant in town but packed with charm. Dried salted sardines as starting tidbits, mini-quiche with Stilton cheese and pears; mushroom risotto; shrimps in butter and garlic sauce; good salads. Plum tarte for dessert. Reasonable-Moderate. **

Orna and Ella 33 Shenkin St. (03) 620-4753. Sun-Fri 10:00-01:00, Sat from 11:00. If anything reflects the "Shenkin Street ethos" (something akin to Greenwich Village, circa 1970) it is this beloved and pleasant café-restaurant. Delicious fresh breads, fine carrot soup, sweet potato pancakes, pear and carrot cakes. Beakfast, lunch andght dinners. Reasonable-Moderate. ***

Susannah 9 Shabazzi Street, Neve Tzedek. (03) 517-7580. Daily 10:00 – 01:00. Simple but fun Mediterranean dining. Best bets are mezes, including the tabbouleh, green felafel balls, leeks in lemon sauce and mutton meat balls. For dessert, the hot chocolate soufflé. Reasonable-Moderate. *

Tazza d'Oro 6 Ahad Ha'Am St. (03) 516-2329. Daily 09:00-23:30. With the well-worn appearance of
a justifiably popular hangout, offering good masbacha (warm humous with chickpeas, lemon and olive
oil), grilled eggplant with thick green tchina and fine labane as openers. As light main courses goat's
cheese in kadaif pastry, beef burgers served with demi-glace sauce and good tiramisu for
dessert. Reasonable-Moderate. **


Not In Tel Aviv

Violet: Rehov HaDagan, Meshek 6, Moshav Udim. (09) 835-0902. Mon-Fri 12:00-15:00 and 19:00- 23:00, Fri 11:00-16:00, and Sat 13:00-16:00. Sophisticated dining in a charming countrified setting. As starters, coquilles St. Jacques with soya and rice vinegar sauce; torellini filled with veal cheek meat with truffle oil and a spicy wine sauce. As main courses, gnocchi with porcini mushrooms, mixed seafood skillet in a white butter sauce. Don't miss the desserts. Moderate. ***

Arabeska 4 Ben-Tzion Galis St., Tzomet Sgula, Petah Tikva. (03) 904-4242.Daily 12:00-24:00. Good country-style Arab cuisine. Meals open with a very good mixed meze. Go on to siniyah, a variety of mutton or any of the lamb or beef based tagines and for dessert the knafe pastry. Reasonable. **

Erez Bareket corner of Maskit, Herzliyia Pituah. (09) 955-9892. Sun-Fri 08:00-24:00, Sat from 09:00. A hyper-casual, funky and fun place at which the menu changes often, always offering excellent vegetarian, meat and fish dishes. Worth visiting to explore the ever-changing offerings. Reasonable- Moderate. ***
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Re: "Israeli" restaurants for foreign guests ??

Postby Mike_F » Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:30 pm

Thanks Rogov.

Dinner yesterday evening at Manta Ray with a guest from Europe, who much appreciated the opportunity to dine on the outside balcony near the sea on a balmy November evening. Opening mezes were very good, excellent scallops and shrimp mains, desserts were reasonable, service efficient and with a smile. The only problem is their wine list - selection is now much less than before, and prices much higher than I remembered from previous visits. Stemware is thick glass, certainly not at the level one would expect from their profit margins on wine. This dismal situation needs fixing, it is a blot on an otherwise very enjoyable and dependable place.

Mike
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