Archive | December, 2010

Off the rails – Italian In The Station

31 Dec

This time we were invited to a family celebration – Inbar’s parents, Benny & Ronit celebrated with us their 29th anniversary. Ronit wanted something in the old train station, a renovated area that has been opened for visitors since last year. The surrounding is very romantic and the Italian restaurant fits its size. There is a lot demand for a table on a Friday night, so table for 6 at 8 o’clock means book (way) ahead.

Before we started Inbar chose the Gewurztraminer wine to escort the dinner. Apparently, the waitress did not like this choice of wine since this was too sweet for her, so she really argued with us about the selection. When we asked her for her recommendation between Carmel & Yarden’s winery she said we should definitely choose Yarden. Sure enough this was not on stock. We settled for Cava.

Can't see the Carpaccio for the Parmesan

We started the eating part of the dinner with two beef Carpaccios, Calamari Malanzana, Brochettes, Octopus Salad and Chicken Liver Pate. The Carpaccio has revealed to us an important ingredient that refused to leave from almost every course in our dinner – the Parmesan cheese. We admit, we are not masters of cheese, but this was either Mozzarella crumbs or one bad Parmesan cheese. Anyhow there was a lot of it. After evacuated the Parmesan and the arugula leaves, on his way to take a closer look of the beef, Shahar encountered the second layer – the olive oil. Unnecessary to mention there was too much of it as well. To the defense of the course, it’s important to mention that the beef itself was good and fresh. It only suffered from over seasoning.

The Calamari Malanzana was a dish that included calamari rings, onions and dried tomatoes sautéed on a pan and placed on a roosted half eggplant. It was the roosted eggplant that made the course a success. The Octopus Salad (Polpo alla palermitana) was composed by slices of octopus tentacles, artichoke, Kalamata olives and pine nuts. It was simply excellent and we might even declare it as the best course of the dinner, rich of flavors, fresh and tasty. The Brochettes were served with anchovies, although we ask to have it without, therefore was almost not eaten. Last but not least was the chicken liver pate that was a successful, especially thanks to the jam.

The Brochettes

For entrées we had the Gorgonzola Gnocchi, Fish Fillet, two Ravioli della casa (filled with cheese and sweet potatoes cream) and two courses of the Fish special. The Gnocchi, as we learned from the Carpaccio, was soaked with the Parmesan cheese. This combination of Gorgonzola cheese with Gnocchi is already expected to be “heavy” without additions – therefore it is not clear why the kitchen chose to add a bulk of cheese on top of it.

Ravioli della casa

The fish filet of the day was red-drum which was served on top of polenta cube, swimming in porcini mushroom sauce. The fish itself was nice, the polenta was tasteless and no sign of porcini was seen in the sauce. The Ravioli were filled with cheese but the sweet-potatoes were declared missing as well. Of course, as you might expect, this course was also served with too much Parmesan. It was “al dante” and the person who ordered this dish didn’t like it. The only entre that we can crown as very good was the fish special. 6 Shrimps “a la plancha” served on top of two Sea-Bass fish filet & grilled vegetables. The shrimps were fleshy and the fish was juicy and fill with taste.

We chose to skip the desert –not because of a diet rather than most of deserts were missing from the menu (3 out of 6). We took some hot drinks for the end of this weird dinner.

When we sum up this experience we are facing some difficulty. From the one hand – some of the dishes were very good. From the other hand – Surprisingly, it was rather the Italian food that was below par. The service, as well as many missing items from the menu, was quite annoying. Next time we promise to recommend you on a real Italian restaurant which doesn’t function as a tourist trap.

The check please (6 people)

Prosecco Brut bottle – 98 NIS
Stiratto (Foccacia bread) – 2 X 15 NIS
Octopus Salad – 48 NIS
Beef Carpaccio – 2 X 48 NIS
Chicken Liver Pate – 38 NIS
Calamari Malanzana – 42 NIS
Broschette “Napoli” – 40 NIS
Sea Fish Fillet – 115 NIS
Special Sea Bass – 2 X 125 NIS
Reviolli “De Casa” – 2 X 80 NIS
Gorgonzola Gnocchi – 65 NIS
Herbs Tea – 15 NIS
Black Coffee – 2 X 10 NIS
Cappuccino – 13 NIS

All in all: 1030 NIS

Summary:

Food: Italian
Price: Expensive
Location: Ha’Tachana (old train station)

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale

2 Forks

Contact details: Italian in the station

Address:  Ha’Tachana, Neve Tzedek, Tel Aviv | Phone: 03-5222664
Opening Hours: Sat-Sun 10:00-24:00 Mon-Fri 09:00-24:00
http://www.italiantlv.co.il/?id=100

Home Sweet Home – La Maison

25 Dec

Update July 2012: The place have closed its doors.

La Maison

For those of you who are looking for some healthy food, you can kindly get yourselves out before we start. This post will be fat, full of cholesterol & quite greasy – just admit that’s the way you like it.

Some of you probably had this dream once, that when you retire, you’ll open a deli up on the mountains, sell some quality cheeses & sausages and enjoy the rest of your days skiing around. The owners of La Maison, just next to Tchernichovsky 6, did just that only in Tel Aviv where no mountains are around…

Duvel

La Maison (Home in French), is a deli at daytime and – adding 4 tables & a bar – a restaurant- charcuterie at night. Though when you walk in the restaurant you immediately feel it’s not just a charcuterie, it is definitely somebody’s dream. A worm smiley welcome, a wooden décor and an open kitchen can be seen by everyone makes you feel at home.

La Maison specializes in sausages, sliced or grilled, and it shows on the menu. You can mix up to 10 different kinds of sliced homemade sausages to a plate (though each is priced on its own). You can also have one of the 3 grilled sausages as well as other varied courses such as sweetbreads, pork steak, mussels with smoked goose breast and much more.

Goose Prosciutto

We decided to focus on the sausages: Gal, which is a fan of German style sausages, took the grilled pork sausage which came along with a potato mash and mustard, while I (Shahar) took the French-style Boden sausage (blood sausage) which came along with roasted apple slices with bacon. WOW is all we could say about those two courses. It was 2 perfectly cooked-homemade-full of taste sausages. My only regret was that we ate them so fast I didn’t remember to take their picture (sorry). A third litre of a superb Duvel beer for each of us was a great escort to the courses.
Since our hunger was yet to die away, we also grabbed a goose prosciutto plate which was very good, yet way too greasy for us in that stage.

To sum this visit up, I would definitely go back to La Maison and I would almost call it a “home” if I didn’t think it would seriously harm my health. Visiting once in a while would make a fair compromise.

The check please (2 people)

Pork Sausage w/ potato mash – 57 NIS
Boden blood Sausage w/ roasted apple & bacon – 54 NIS
Goose Prosciutto slices – 34 NIS
2 X Third-Litre Duvel – 52 NIS

All in all: 197 NIS

Summary:

Food: Charcuterie
Price: Medium-Expensive
Location: Tchernichovsky (The golden triangle of King George – Allenbi  (Ha Carmel market) & Bugrashov)

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale

4 Forks

Contact details: La Maison

Address:  1 Tchernichovsky Street, Tel Aviv | Phone: 03-6206022
Opening Hours (as restaurant): Sun-Thu 19:00-23:30 Fri 18:00-23:30 Sat Closed
No Webpage

Don’t come alone: Tchernichovsky 6

22 Dec

Writing this blog is hard… every time we want to eat outside we need to go to somewhere we have never visited before (Don’t fill sorry for us, just send us your recommendations). This time we got another recommendation from Zipi & Shaul for Tchernichovsky 6 (shesh). This place used to be a nice place for takeaway of homemade food, and nowadays they move across the street (Tchernichovsky 5) and define themselves as a bistro.

The Bar

The first thing you can think of when you go to a place named Tchernichovsky is the great Israeli band named Mashina, the second one is the poet Shaul Tchernichovsky (your thoughts might be opposite – depends on the decade you were born at). When we came to the place we didn’t think a lot since it was a spontaneous visit.

When we arrived only two other tables were taken and we set on the small bar. The place has a very worm and special atmosphere. For example, their menus have a cover of a Tchernichovsky book (Asher Haya Velo Haya), and next to their courses you’ll find some of his poems. The other side of it was that we felt a very serious ambiance. The music was almost silent and you couldn’t talk without being heard throughout. The very small bar contributed to the stressful feeling.

Fish filet

Fish filet

We shared the first dish – calamari on the plancha, served on top of an eggplant and yogurt paste was simply fantastic! The calamaries were cooked properly and the eggplant paste was fresh and tasty. Shahar took the sausages made from white meat, veal & pecorino cheese that were served with mash potatoes and mustard. When he finished taking care of the dish nothing was left on the plate (though the mash wasn’t the best we had). Inbar took the fish filet. Every day the place serves a different fish – depends on today’s supply from the nearby market – Hacarmel. The fish was served with green-broken wheat & oven-baked vegetables. This dish was also very good and fresh. One of the oven-baked vegetables was fennel that had a very unique taste when it came right out of the oven.

Because of our upcoming wedding, we decided to skip the deserts, yet we should mention that they cook all their deserts in-house.

The check please (2 people)

Burned Calamari – 48 NIS
Fish Filet – 98 NIS
Sausages -68 NIS
2 X Cava – 50 NIS

All in all: 264 NIS

Summary:

Food: Bistro
Price: Expensive
Location: Tchernichovsky (The golden triangle of King George – Allenbi  (Ha Carmel market) & Bugrashov)

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale

3.5 Forks

Contact details: Tchernichovsky 6 (Shesh)

Address:  5 Tchernichovsky Street, Tel Aviv | Phone: 03-6208729
Opening Hours: NA
Email: tchernihovski6@013net.net.i
http://www.restaurant-tel-aviv.co.il/
English menu here: http://www.restaurant-tel-aviv.co.il/home_tshernichovski_6.aspx

A Rustic Breakfast – Rustico

19 Dec

Bread Basket

As you may already understand, eating breakfast in Tel Aviv is one of our favorite Friday morning activities. This time we had chance to visit the vibrant Bazel area, which is full of good cafés. Although the wide selection of breakfast in the area, we were invited by Zipi & Shaul, familiar guests in our blog, to an Italian restaurant named Rustico. This restaurant worth a different post for their regular menu but this post will focus on their breakfast.

The breakfast menu in Rustico includes 4 different sections:  Frittata, Rustico Eggs, Scacciatina (hot focaccia sandwich) & Dolce. Each section contains several dishes. The four of us decided to focus on the Rosico eggs & the Frittatas. “Rustico eggs” is dish of oven baked eggs in one of their stew of your choice.  It is served with fresh vegetable salad, 3 types of cheese, aioli paste, bread, butter, jam, coffee and natural juice or Lombrusco Rose wine.

Three of us chose to take this dish with stew of peppers, tomato & spicy salami. The dish is actually very similar to Shakshooka and a bit spicy, most of us liked it. The other dish was the Frittata, which is thick omelet served with similar sides as the Rustico eggs. The chosen frittata was served with potatoes & onion (we skipped the bacon that was originally part of the dish). This dish was described as “very good” by Shaul. As we already mentioned, the courses are served with sides. The bread & the cheese that was served next to it were good and testy. 3 Cappuccinos and one macchiato sealed the deal – this was a good option for Friday morning. We will come back but this time for the regular menu.

Enjoy,
Shahar & Inbar

The check please (4 people)

3X Rustico eggs – 174 NIS
Frittata – 58 NIS

All in all – 232

Frittata

Frittata

Summary:

Food: Italian (we took breakfast)
Price: Medium
Location: Bazel

Contact details: Rustico

Address:  42 Bazel Street, Tel Aviv | Phone: 03-6026969
Opening Hours: Sunday-Thursday 12:00-24:00 | Friday-Saturday 08:30-24:00 (Breakfast is served 8:30-12:30).
http://www.rustico.co.il/bazel/index6.html
English menu here: http://www.rustico.co.il/bazel/eng_menu/index.html

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale

3.5 Forks

Fur the Love of Steaks – Stefan Brown

17 Dec

Lettuce Salad (The food's food)

A restaurant which combines a rich history together with a chic Tel-Aviv atmosphere sounds great. When it adds great food to it, you get a place you don’t want to miss. Strolling down through the notoriously Alenbi street west from Rotchield you always come across few dodgy characters and many old stores. One of these stores happens to be an old fur store name Stefan Brown after its furrier owner. Upon the famous furrier’s studio ruins there is now a restaurant with the same name: Stefan Brown.

Arriving to the entrance, you can see the old studio’s sign. Enter through the lovely garden to the stylish restaurant on which authentic pictures from that time are hanging and the smell of steaks is raising.

Stefan Brown is well known for its steaks and meat courses, and when thought about going to a steaks restaurant we came quite shortly to a decision eating there. We took two of our friends, Tziki & Gal, to make it a foursome dinner. Stefan Brown is pretty expensive, yet it is now celebrating its Bar-Mitzva, so lucrative fixed menus are offered priced at 73, 77 and 79 NIS (including light drinks & bread).

Entrecote Steak (before)

For starters, we took a Lettuce salad which was good, gazpacho soup which fits garlic lovers, chicken soup which was describes as excellent and roasted eggplant salad with hyssop leaves which was very good and quite different then other roasted eggplant courses served everywhere else in the city (you can probably find it in every other restaurant).

Entricote (during)

The entrees weren’t as diverse as 3 of 4 took the 250gr Entrecote steak (you’ll need to add 16 NIS to the 99 NIS menu) which was served along with oven potatoes and shallots. All three agreed that though it wasn’t the best they ever had, it was a quality meat that was cooked exactly to the point (“a punto” if you as an Argentinean). The fourth course was a mix of grilled sweetbreads (same sides, the 99 NIS menu). The large course was more than satisfy the stomach and whoever fancies this kind of meat will enjoy almost a perfect course.

Skipping the desserts as we were all quite full, we agreed unanimously that was one great dinner.

Enjoy,
Shahar & Inbar

The check please (4 people)

Lettuce Salad
Gazpacho Soup
Chicken Soup
Roasted eggplant Salad
3X Coke
Soda water
3X Entrecote Steak (addition 16 NIS each) – 345 NIS
sweetbreads mix – 99 NIS

All in all: 444 NIS

Summary:

Food: Steaks
Price: Expensive
Location: Allenby

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale

3.5 Forks

Contact details: Stefan Brown

Address:  99 Allenby Street, Tel Aviv | Phone: 035604725
Opening Hours:  Daily 12:00-Late
http://www.rest.co.il/sites/default.asp?txtrestid=1292
English menu here: http://www.rest.co.il/_Pages/stefanbrown/eng/index.html

Breakfast at Gilli’s

9 Dec

French Toast & Bacon

Everybody loves a rich breakfast and nothing like a Friday morning breakfast in Tel Aviv, just after your last shopping needs and just before your Friday noon siesta. Though very much crowded in the weekends, Tel Aviv’s Port has few of the better breakfasts in the city (few of the overpriced as well). Walking down the port you can pass along the beautiful deck and through the newly opened farmer’s market. When you get hungry, go to Gilli’s. Definitely the best breakfast in this area and one of the best ones in Tel Aviv.

Going through Gilli’s rich breakfast menu, you get a very nice variety, while the price is set on 68 NIS (pretty expensive). As a start you get a basket of homemade breads, fluffy brioches & crispy croissants which are extremely tasty together with some French butter and jam. To accompany your breakfast, you can choose between 3 morning cocktails (we liked the colorful mimosa).

Mimosa Cocktail

As for our breakfast, Shahar chose the French toast & bacon. Though nothing would be fancy on any French toast, it was very nicely done. The bacon though was a little over cooked. Inbar decided to take the spicy eggs & tomatoes (which is just a synonym to the common Shakshooka). Again, Shakshooka is one of the simplest breakfasts you can eat, and much of its quality is dependent on its seasoning. This one, though very spicy, was done very well and fitted the great bread basket.

Two small cappuccinos (included) has summed up the breakfast with ease and headed us the right way to the regular Friday naptime (coffee never affects us the other way…).
One small but very important remark: as Friday mornings are very crowded it is better to book ahead in order to make sure you get a beach-view terrace table. That way you’ll at least notice it a little less.

Enjoy!
Shahar & Inbar

The check please (2 people)

2 Breakfasts – 126 NIS
Mineral water – 8 NIS

All in all: 134 NIS

Summary:

Food: Breakfast & Steaks
Price: Expensive
Location: Tel Aviv’s Port

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale

3.5 Forks

Contact details: Gilli’s

Address:  Hangar 25, Port of Tel Aviv | Phone: 036057777
Opening Hours:  Everyday 10:00 – late
Oddly, no website

Kong FU

7 Dec

Just one week after the good sushi experience in the Moon, my friend Adi suggested we go to eat sushi. Adi is my sushi expert friend, so when she suggested me sushi plus added a ride on her bike, I just couldn’t say no.

After a short ride we arrived to Fu Sushi, which is located near the north of Dizingoff Street. It is a quite small place with a sitting area and a bar. We were lucky to catch the last seats available in the sitting area, without waiting on the line (though the bar was probably more exciting).

When we sat down the waiter made the table with chopsticks which were put on a black stone. In addition we got the “traditional” sauces – Spicy mayonnaise, Teriyaki & Watercress with coriander. We started with a Miso Soup and Wakame Salad which were quite good. The salad came with “Chicken Crumbs” which were actually small slices of chicken which tasted, strangely, like pastrami.

Each one of us took a combination of sushi.  Adi took the vegetarian and I preferred the fish. The vegetarian combination included vegetables Maki Foto (4 pieces), Inside-out vegetables (4 pieces), Vegetables Maki (6 pieces) & vegetables Skewer (3 pieces).  The fish combination included an inside-out spicy tuna (4 pieces) – which were the best of this combination, Avocado & Salmon Maki (6 pieces) –nice but very average, 1 Tuna Nigiri & 1 Salmon Nigiri – I didn’t like the Tuna and didn’t get to the Salmon.

All in all Fu is a casual sushi place if you’re nearby. Don’t make an effort to get there but if you’re around you can definitely find a decent sushi there.

The check please (2 people)

2 Sodas – 22 NIS
Miso soup – 15 NIS
Wakame salad – 29 NIS
Vegetarian combination – 53 NIS
Fish combination – 58 NIS

All in all: 177 NIS

Summary:

Food: Fast Food Sushi
Price: Medium
Location: North Dizngoff / Yirmiahu

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale

3 Forks

Contact details: Fu Sushi

Address:  Yirmiahu 32 street, Tel Aviv | Phone: 057-9443445
Opening Hours:  Sunday to Saturday 12:30-1:30
http://www.rest.co.il/sites/Default.asp?txtRestID=10769

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