Tag Archives: Nachlat Binyamin

A True Stark – Aria

13 Jul

A while ago I was looking for a nice restaurant for some quality time with my husband, after I didn’t see him for a week while I was in Romania.  The decision was made to Aria, a new restaurant that has been on our “to-do” list for a while. Aria is located in a beautiful reconstructed building that contains 2 floors. The first floor serves as a cocktail bar and the second floor is a classic European restaurant of the promising chef Guy Gamzo. As expected, we choose the restaurant.

Aria Gin and Tonic

Aria Gin and Tonic

Since they have a cocktail bar on the floor below, I decided to start with “Aria Gin and Tonic” that contained (in addition to the basics) cucumber, spring onion, coriander dill & orange that made this cocktail very special and refreshing.

Coquilles St. Jacques

Coquilles St. Jacques

We decided to share three starts and one main dish. For starters we took Coquilles St. Jacques, Porcini mushrooms & Tortellini Raghu. The Coquilles St. Jacques were served in white almond cream and lobster foam that was amazing and we both really liked it. The flavors were fantastic and we had to fight for the leftovers.

Eggs & mushrooms

Eggs & mushrooms

The porcini mushrooms was actually a dish of two minute egg on wild porcini mushrooms & smoked duck. Although I have weakness for soft eggs, this dish did not meet our expectations. It was served in a very special plate but the plate was not made to contain the yolk liquid that spilled over the plate’s socket.

Tortellini Raghu

Tortellini Raghu

The Tortellini Raghu contained generous amount of meat and had the feeling of a beef that was cooked on a low heat for quite a while. The sauce was also quite good and we wiped it with the complimentary bread we were served.

Duck breast

Duck breast

For the main dish we shared the blush duck breast in its broth along with strawberry coulis. Usually we don’t have a lot of opportunities to eat duck. This was a fantastic opportunity as the dish was absolutely amazing. The duck breast was cooked to the right measure and it was pink and soft.  The puree that was served with it was smooth and suited the dish perfectly. A true hit.

Lemon tart

Lemon tart

For dessert we took the open Lemon Tart and Italian meringue with a zest of raspberry jelly. That was only a nice dessert, nothing more. But it did sign a very good meal of European flavors. We would definitely come back.

Summary

Food: Cocktail Bar & Bistro
Price: Expensive
Location: Nachlat Binyamin

The check please (2 people)
Aria Gin and Tonic – 47NIS
Coquilles St. Jacques – 65NIS
Eggs & mushrooms – 48NIS
Tortellini Raghu – 65NIS
Duck breast – 98NIS
Lemon tart – 42NIS
Sparkling water – 11NIS
2 X Espresso – 20NIS
San Miguel – 25NIS

All in all – 421 NIS

The Cizer Kobrinsky Scale:

4.5 Forks

4.5 Forks

Contact Details: Aria
Address:  66 Nachlat Binyamin St, Tel Aviv | 03-5296054 | http://ariatlv.co.il/

Spice Up Your Friday – Levinsky Market

2 Mar

Mark yourselves a 2-hour time window at some Friday morning. Then you can stroll to one of the liveliest streets in Tel Aviv at that time – Levinsky Street. Levinsky Market, stretched along the street (from Ha’alia down west), is hectic and not so tourist oriented, but definitely should not be overlooked. The street is filled with shops selling spices, delicatessen, cheese and oriental food and would be a great place to add some touch-ups to your recipes.

As the market is becoming trendier lately, few places to eat are popping out here and there, throughout the market. At two different opportunities we have managed to visit two of the places that set out two very different experiences while supplying their own variation of the market.

Cafe Kaimak

Café Kaimak, located at the Nachlat Binyamin corner, is literally part of the market. As it is fully opened to the market, right between the vendors, you can hear all the trouble happening outside while sitting in the unpretentious setting. The prices are welcoming as well as the service and the food is pretty nice as well. On the late Friday morning, when we sat along with Adi for a late breakfast, we had a very decent Shakshuka (27 NIS) and a “Red Toast” that included Gauda cheese, tomatoes and a great red peppers paste (36 NIS).

Shakshuka (Cafe Kaimak)

Red Toast

Café Kaimak:

Food: Breakfast
Price: Cheap
Location: Levinsky Market

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

3 Forks

Devochka

Devochka (“Girl” in Russian), located a bit off the market at the crossing HaChalutzim Street, is offering a far more relaxed atmosphere. You can pick one of a variety of sandwiches, made at the spot with some market goods displayed at the counter. Though there is (very) little place to sit inside, try to grab a sandwich and sit at the stools outside and catch some relaxing Friday noon sun (good luck finding that available spot). While meeting with Samuel and Keren for a lunch there, right before the vendors closed their shops, we had some great Corned Beef Sandwich and Cheese Sandwich (24 NIS each) along with a well-suitable-for-Friday-noon Coffee.

Devochka Counter

Corned Beef Sandwich

Devochka:

Food: Sandwiches
Price: Cheap-Medium
Location: Off Levinsky Market

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

3.5 Forks

Coffee & Afternoon Sun (Devochka)

Social Justice – The Mizlala (Eatery)

9 Sep
The summer of 2011 will (hopefully) be remembered for the uncompromising fight of the middle class in Israel against the economic policy of Prime Minister Netanyahu, that caused Israel to have almost the biggest gaps between the rich and the poor in the western world. The people of Israel demand social justice.

Adoni in Action

The Summer of 2011 will also be remembered as the summer in which Meir Adoni opened the Mizlala – his middle-class restaurant. Adoni, well recognized and appreciated chef had become famous after cooking at the top fine-dining restaurants in Israel (Including Catit).

Peanut & Salt on the Bar

When Adoni opened this restaurant he stated that he aims to get to the young middle-calss crowd in Israel serving good food in reasonable prices. When we arrived to the restaurant we have realized we were the only couple that fits his measures.
As a place that suppose to act as an eatery (Mizlala), one would expect to encounter a loud and dense place with a chaotic atmosphere. Nevertheless, the design of the Mizalal is quite “clean” and sterile. Eatery with a high level design. To our surprise, Adoni was standing right behind the bar constructing our dishes.

Palestinian Tartar

We started with Palestinian tartar – if this is the meat you can get in Gaza, we can’t wait to have peace… Chopped rump beef, Tehini, Pine nuts, Yogurt, Burned eggplant paste & Cumin (just too much of it).  Great twist on the traditional tartar that usually comes with a French scent.

Mullet Ceviche

We continued with another starter (Although the menu is not divided to entrees and main courses) – Ceviche of Mullet fish that was served on top of some kind of Asian salad. This dish was good but had resembled to too many other dishes we have eaten in the past in restaurants such as the Thai House and The Officers Club.

Seared Chicen Liver

For main course we have shared (not too big of a dish) the Seared Chicken Liver that was served on top of Polenta, Forest Mushrooms & Asparagus. This dish was amazing and we felt as if it was melting in our mouth.

Vanilla Brulee

For desert, we took Vanilla Brulee that had nothing to do with Brulee. It was a thick layer of Vanilla that was topped (and not burned) with a layer apricot that was topped with layer of Crumble. This layer was also topped – with a scoop of berries ice-cream – Too Much!! when the bartender asked us if we enjoy the dish we had to answer that this was the least good dish in that dinner. The bartender replied that this is Adoni’s interpretation to the Creme Brulee -we thought he was too creative.

Summarizing this experience we were a bit confused. It was (mostly) a good meal in a (sort of) reasonable price, nevertheless we could not identify the middle class people among the crowd. So where is the social justice?

The Check Please (2 people)
2 X Gewurztraminer – 72 NIS
Palestinian tartar – 55 NIS
Mullet Ceviche – 63 NIS
Seared Chicen Liver – 53 NIS
Vanilla Brulee – 41 NIS

All in all: 284 NIS

Summary
Food: Israeli Chef Restaurant
Price: Medium-Expensive
Location: Nachlat Binyamin

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale

4 Forks

Contact Details: Mizlala
Address: 57 Nachlat Binyamin st, Tel Aviv | Phone: 03 5505 566
Opening Hours:  Sunday – Saturday 19:00-01:00
http://www.mizlala.co.il

The Perfect Romantic Celebration – The Wine Bar

30 Jun

We waited a long time since starting to write this blog until we have returned to one of our favorite places in Tel Aviv. Though quite a small place, containing nothing more than 4-5 tables and a bar, the Wine Bar has more romantic spirit and passion than most of the restaurants we have visited so far.

The Bar

Logging to their Facebook page, you’ll receive frequent updates (in Hebrew though) regarding their newest ingredient which came straight from the market or from the fisherman. Book a place at the bar as we have and you won’t be disappointed, as the highlight of the place is the fact that the chef is right in front of you, grilling the shrimps, chopping the Tuna and burning the Brule. That way you can also make sure the Wine Bar is using only fresh ingredients.

Greek Calamari Salad

We have booked a place at the bar a night after our wedding, as the celebration must continue. We shared three dishes. The first one was Greek Calamari Salad with Kalamate olives, tomatoes, green peppers and red onions. Though all fresh, something in the sauce didn’t come together and it was somewhat disappointing. The second dish was Pasta shreds with sautéed Italian Artichokes, delicate pesto sauce and Parmesan. This was a great example of the creative side of Wine Bar, and was a delicious dish (highly recommended if you are an Artichoke fan).

Artichokes and Pasta Shreds

The last dish we ordered is one of Inbar’s all time favorites –Seafood Gnocchi. A true quality homemade Gnocchi, was served with a selection of Shrimps and Calamari, cherry tomatoes, green peppers and coriander. The spiciness of the sauce and the fresh ingredients of the dish combined to one of the best seafood pastas we ever had.

Seafood Gnocchi

To end the evening with a sweet taste in our mouth we also took a Banana Crumble. The hot crisp topping and the warm banana fitted very well and were very tasty. Along with two glasses of Gewurztraminer wine we went out the street elated.

Banana Crumble

As long as the Wine Bar continues to have the passion it shows and continues to execute as it does now, we will definitely come back, at least once in a while.

The check please (2 people)

Artichokes and Pasta Shreds – 54 NIS
Greek Calamari Salad – 52 NIS
Seafood Gnocchi – 64 NIS
Banana Crumble – 32 NIS
2X Gewurztraminer by the glass – 68 NIS

All in all: 270 NIS

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale: 

4.5 Forks

Summary:

Food:  Mediterranean
Price:  Expensive
Location: Montefiore-Nachlat Binyamin

Contact details: Wine Bar
Address:  36 Nachlat Binyamin,Tel Aviv | 03-5102923|
Opening Hours:  Sunday-Thrusday, Saturday 19:00-01:00 Friday 13:00-01:00 |
http://www.rest.co.il/sites/Default.asp?txtRestID=9866 (No English)
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wine-Bar/99691452740

From Hadera to Gadera – Gadera 26

25 Apr

Friday noon, as we were on our usual hanging in Tel-Aviv city center – Dizingof Center, King George, Shenkin the Carmel Market and Nachlat Binymin area, we rode our bikes to a new place right at the market entrance – Gadera 26.

Thanks to transparent windows, the place is very well lit and has a very pleasant atmosphere taking the street inside the place. The menu is written on a chalkboard, offering fresh starters alongside homemade entrées.

Roasted Fennel and Lentils Salad

Each of us took his turn and went inside to take a look at the menu. We ordered Lentils Salad and Roasted Fennel; for entrees we took the Chraime & Slices of roasted Fillet of Beef. Alongside the starters we were also served a complimentary small Cabbage Salad, Tahini & slices of Challa.

Roasted Fillet of Beef

Both starters were fresh and special. The fennel was roasted on the grill which gave the vegetable a unique taste. The lentils salad had small pieces of lemon which gave it slightly sour and surprising taste.  The Chraime was a good homemade dish, but not spectacular. The Roast Fillet of beef was a cold beef dish, which was a light and fine.

Chraime

That was a successful break with some easy going food and a good mood.

The check please (2 people)

Lentils Salad – 10 NIS
Roasted Fennel – 10 NIS
Chraime – 36 NIS
Roasted Fillet of Beef – 34 NIS
Coke – 10 NIS
Soda Water – 11 NIS

All in all: 113 NIS

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale: 

3.5 Forks


Summary:

Food:  Market goods & homemade
Price:  Cheap – Medium
Location: Carmel Market / Nachlat Binyamin

Contact details: Gadera 26
Address:  26th Gadera st. Tel Aviv | 057-9443194|
Opening Hours:  Sunday – Thursday 12:00-16:45, 19:00-Late. Friday – 12:00-17:00 |
http://www.rest.co.il/sites/Default.asp?txtRestID=11384 | No English menu

Expecting the extra – North (Tzfon) Abraxas

2 Apr

There are few chefs around town which you must check their places. Eyal Shani, Timeout Tel Aviv’s Chef of the year, is definitely one of them. Having few successful places as the Saloon, Hamiznon (the Buffet) and North Abraxas, his performance as a judge in the famous TV show “Master Chef” has given him a lot of publicity. We decided to visit his trendy North Abraxas which is located on the popular crossroads of Nachlat Binyamin & Lilinblum.

North Abraxas

The restaurant is divided to two. The one part is the bar, which is located in front of the open kitchen. If you can, we would suggest sitting there as it is a nice experience watching the cooks in action. The sitting part on the other hand, is quite dull and is used also as an entrance to the adjacent Abraxas club. Note that the dishes on North Abraxas are not arriving on plates but rather on papers, a unique touch, but not quite a “green” one. As appose to that, many of the ingredients of the place are organic, such as the not-so-tasty grape juice (no sodas but Soda water at North Abraxas).

Melting Into Itself - a Whole Mini Cauliflower

As starters we took a classic dish of Shani – a whole mini cauliflower “melts into itself” – and weren’t disappointed. The cauliflower was baked in the oven (probably with some butter) and had a wonderful taste. We also took Beet Carpaccio (not beef…). This time the dish wasn’t as good as expected. The beet was a little tasteless, and only the Crème fraiche that came along with it, managed to save the dish somehow.

Beet Carpaccio

Going through to the entrees we also took one classic of Shani – The Shrimps Pita bread. Though it seems quite weird to combine a street food like Pita bread with Shrimps, the dish is no less than marvelous. Quality Shrimps dressed with tomatoes and hot peppers sauce that drips through the whole fresh Pita bread was simply delicious.

Shrimps Pita Bread

Unfortunately we couldn’t give the same praises to the other dish – a European Seabass Chraime. Though the fish itself was quite good, the very hot tomatoes and peppers sauce was boring and didn’t give the fish the extra taste it needed. In addition, the fish was full of bones which made it quite hard on eating it as the sauce hid the fish.

European Seabass Chraime

Though we heard good things about the desserts, we decided to skip and head home. On the way back we agreed that North Abraxas is not a bad place at all, but it definitely didn’t raise to the expectations we had from Eyal Shani.

The check please (2 people)

Beet Carpaccio – 34 NIS
Cauliflower – 34 NIS
Shrimps in Pita Bread – 68 NIS
European Seabass Chraime – 92 NIS
2 X Soda water – 20 NIS
Organic grape juice – 16 NIS

All in all: 264 NIS

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

3.5 Forks

Summary:

Food:  Trendy Chef Restaurant
Price:  Medium-Expensive
Location: Nachlat Binyamin & Lilinblum

Contact details: North Abraxas
Address:  Lilinblum 40, Tel Aviv | 03-5166660|
Opening Hours:  Sunday 18:00-04:00 | Monday – Thursday 12:00-04:00 | Friday- Saturday 13:00-04:00
No Webpage

Birthday treat – Carmela Banachala

20 Nov

Update July 2013: The place is closed.

Shrimps & Scalops

Birthdays are always a chance to celebrate in a restaurant you haven’t been in yourself because it’s too expensive or too special for a regular night out. Carmela is exactly that kind of restaurant. Years of good reviews, rumors of great food and Shahar’s and his dad birthday lead us for a family dinner in one of the best Nachlat Binyamin pedestrian street restaurants.

The ambiance in the place is quite unique, a little antique with a charm on its own; Wooden tables & chairs, mosaics up on the walls, candle lights and white-dressed waiters. Since we were quite a few people there (9), we’ll focus on our courses + some others (prices in brackets).

The fresh chop herbs salad with cashew nuts (39 NIS) was simply excellent, while it couldn’t reach the level of the Crab bisque (40) which was fantastic. On the other hand, the cured sirloin carpaccio (49) was just OK and a course of sliced sweet tomatoes with olives and ricotta cheese was quite dull.

Potato Noodles

Moving to the entrees, the shrimp and scallop with Uzo (105) was also rated as “just ok” in our perspective while the sea bream fillet “a la plancha” (98) was very good, the Beef fillet (130) was great and the potato noodles in porcini crème source was truly the dinner highlight.

After having few desserts which weren’t something to write home about, we came to conclusion that Carmela is a very good choice, yet a little too expensive for its quality.

Please note that there is an option of a tasting menu as well for a different style of dinner.

Summary:

Food: Chef’s restaurant
Price: Expensive
Service: Professional
Location: Nachlat Binyamin

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale

4 Forks

Contact details: Carmela Banachala

Address: Hatavor 46 corner Rambam 14, Nachlat Binyamin, Tel Aviv
Opening: Sunday to Saturday: 12:00 – 23:00.
http://www.rest.co.il/sites/default.asp?txtRestID=2972

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