Went to a great restaurant Friday lunch for my brother-in-law's 30th birthday, called Yaffo-Tel Aviv. Despite the rather artless name, it's really state-of-the-art, and fun. The service was impeccable and the food was delicious. Their kitchen is entirely observable, but it's not in the center of the room like some places I've been to. (I like to go have a look, but I don't want to spend my whole meal watching the chefs busy at work.) I had the 'catch of the day casserole', which wasn't what I think of as casserole at all, but rather a fresh fish fillet sitting in a lovely white wine and chicken broth sauce containing an array of fresh vegetables. Lovely. Everything was fresh, clean, and healthy feeling.
We drank the Shvo Vineyards, 2010, Rosé, which was great with my food, but probably less so with my brother-in-law's lamb chops. I also had a yellowtail ceviche starter that was fabulous and a perfect match with the wine. It's pricy, even for their lunch deal, but I think it's one of the very best restaurants in Tel Aviv right now. The wine menue is good, with good wines by the glass, and there were tons of bottle options for under 200NIS. The goat's cheese kanafe (Arab nest pastry) was an amazing dessert, and their espresso machine is a very unique old fashioned pull-style, giving fine espresso that I think our late food and wine critic would have raved about.
For dinner I made fresh pasta and a vegetarian ragu topped with three kinds of cheese. We drank the 2008, Pio Cesare, Barbera D'Alba. It was really a great wine, smooth and supple, with elegant tannins and a lot of acidity (tart, but not without depth). It was strong on the mid-palate, and very aromatic with layers of red and black fruits, earth, and minerals. It's going for 115NIS at Wine & More. We also had the wine on Shabbat day and evening, and it developed some more chocolaty flavors and the oak and tannins became a bit more prominent, but still keeping its juicy acidity.
(Wines and restaurant NK)
Have a great week,