Archive | August, 2011

Disestablishmentarianism – Toto

24 Aug

About a month ago we got married for the second time. In oppose to the first time, when we got married by Rabbi Gilad Kariv from the Progressive Judaism movement, this time we only did it for the official stamp of the Rabbinate. When the ceremony was done, all we were looking for is a good place to eat non-kosher food that will help us to forget the old-fashioned establishment. Luckily, Toto was just 10 minutes’ walk from there.

The Bar

Toto is a chef restaurant from the kitchen of chef Yaron Shalev, a young and premising chef. The restaurant is located near the court in Tel Aviv, which makes it a popular place for lunch among lawyers and business men. Although Toto is a very expensive restaurant, it offers fixed menu for lunch – for 98 NIS you will get an entrée and a main course.

Calamari Salad

For starters Inbar took the Calamari Salad – fresh combination of grilled Calamari, fresh onion and fried onion, two different kinds of Cherry tomatoes, green pepper, chick-peas and herbs. This kind of dish have become a must have dish in the menu of every Tel Aviv restaurant that respect itself. Nevertheless, it was not disappointing and did manage to top over the average Calamari Salad.

Pickled Anchovy

Grilled Eggplant

Shahar took the pickled Anchovy that was served on top of lentils & yogurt, green pepper, tomatoes and onion – spicy and fresh dish. Benny & Zipi took the Grilled Eggplant that was served with tomatoes seeds, radish, labaneh,  onion and herbs. This dish came in two different sizes as one of them was part of the fix menu and the other wasn’t. Shaul took the Gazpacho soup that was excellent.

Pappardelle Ragu

For the main courses we weren’t so much versatile as in the entrees. Benny, Shaul & Inbar took the Pappardelle Ragu –stew of veal, chestnuts and root vegetables that was cooked for hours and served with homemade Pappardelle. Shahar & Ronit took the Shalev’s legendary dish – Chestnut Gnocchi with Truffles butter – a dish that although is quite “heavy” you just can’t get enough of… heavenly dressed fluffy gnocchi. Zipi Took the Black Pasta that was cooked with Calamari and Shrimp and was also a good dish but not very special.

Chestnut Gnocchi

Black Pasta

Picking Toto as the dessert of our unnecessary wedding was a good choice for the beginning of our shared life (according to the state if Israel) & helped us to quickly forget that anachronistic establishment.

The Check Please (6 people)

Vital Water – 28NIS
3X Lemonade – 36NIS
Soda water – 11NIS
Calamari Salad (Fixed Menu) – 15NIS
Grilled eggplant (Fixed Menu)
Gazpacho (Fixed Menu)
Grilled eggplant – 48NIS
Pickled Anchovy – 58NIS
3X  Pappardelle Ragu (Fixed Menu) – 294
2X Chestnut Gnocchi – 164NIS
Black Pasta – 98NIS

All in all: 752NIS


Food: Italian Chef Restaurant
Price: Very Expensive
Location: Weitzman, Curt house, Tel Aviv Arts Museum.

 The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

4.5 Forks

Contact Details: Toto

Address:  4 Berkovits st, Tel Aviv | Phone: 03-6935151 | Opening Hours:  Sunday – Saturday 12:30-00:00 | |


Italian Trend – Pappa’s

20 Aug


It seems that in some point during the last few years, the Italian kitchen has stepped aside from the main restaurant scene in Tel Aviv to allow the other trendy Mediterranean kitchens, such as Seafood and Spanish cuisines, to rise up. Suddenly, Italian restaurants came out as less interesting, less fashionable and generally belong to those who look for a “serious” dinner.

Pappa’s, which defines itself as a “Ristorante Italiano”, is actually a few years old Trattoria, located in the back of Allenby, just beside the Carmel’s Market, and proud of its self-made Pasta, traditional cooking and welcoming atmosphere. All that said, it seems that Pappa’s took the last few years trends into consideration, offering many of the Pastas as half-size as well and using lots of market goods such as Shrimps, Artichokes and Truffles.

Tuna Fish Carpaccio

Take the special Fish Carpaccio for example. The red Tuna fish tasted as it came straight up from the market, dressed with only salt, pepper and olive oil. Though a bit expensive for the place, it was definitely a good dish. A Broad bean Rissoto, which contained also pieces of lemon and Celery, was also an original Mediterranean variation on top of a classic heavy dish.

Broad Bean Risotto

The self made Pastas, as promised, were no less than excellent. A half-size dish of Truffles Gnocchi, was quite simple but amazing on taste and, given its price, became quickly one of our favorite Italian dishes around town. Another dish of Artichoke Campanelle, brought the market to our table once more and, along with roasted tomatoes and lemon, came together as a very good dish. Another half-size course of Shrimps “a la plancha”, dressed with garlic and olive oil, with roasted potatoes and asparagus, showed that Pappa’s has nothing to be ashamed of its seafood as well.

Gnocchi Tartufo

Artochoke Campanelle

Ending our night with a very-basic and quite tasty sweet Pana Cotta we agreed that, in value for money standards, Pappa’s has very little competition as it combines fresh and self-made ingredients, trendy original dishes, and fine execution.

Shrimps and Asparagus on Potatoes

The Check Please (3 people)

Tuna Fish Carpaccio – 42 NIS
Gnocchi Al Tartufo (Small) – 34 NIS
Broad Bean Risotto (Small) – 36 NIS
Artichoke Campanelle – 52 NIS
Shrimps and Asparagus on Potatoes (Small) – 38 NIS
Pana Cotta – 26 NIS
Cava (bottle) – 89 NIS

All in all: 317 NIS


Food: Italian
Price: Medium
Location: Allenby & Carmel market

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

4 Forks

 Contact Details: Pappa’s

Address:  12 Hillel Hazaken, Tel Aviv | Phone: 03-5107373
Opening Hours:  Sunday – Saturday 12:00-01:00

Happy Happy – Nanuchka

11 Aug

The view from outside

When Elad called me (Inbar) and asked at what time are we meeting today I was surprised. Getting an unplanned invitation from Elad is something you just can’t say no to. Adi picked me on her scooter and we all me at Lilenblum st.  which is a host of some fine restaurants such North Abraxas and Frida Kahlo (which we didn’t like).

Toast with Australian Gewurztraminer

We decide to  visit a well known institute in Tel Aviv food scene – Nanuchka –  a place that had opened its gates over 8 years ago – impressive fact in this short-term industry. Nanuchka is known for is Georgian food and its very happy atmosphere.

Meat Khinkali

We were set in the front of the restaurant, probably the worst area in the place (as we wanted to have a smoke), while the best place is probably at the vibrant bar. Nevertheless, we were not disappointed. We shared four dishes: Mjave – Pickled Georgian Vegetables – which was a nice escort to the dinner, though we didn’t notice anything Georgian (or different) about it.  Meat Khinkali – are kind of Georgian dumplings that were served with spicy and tasty salsa sauce. Ispanakhi Kada – Spinach and Cheese pastry that was very large and satisfying. Last but not least was the Satsivi – cold dish of Chicken breast in a transitional walnut sauce – that was kind of heavy (as the waitress warned us).


We escorted the dinner with an Australian Gewurztraminer & chose a tasty Malabi for dessert. All in all the food was good but not amazing. It was the good atmosphere, the band and the people who were dancing at the bar, that made our visit (and the place) so special.

Happy Happy - the vibrant bar

The check please (3 people)

Mjave – 19 NIS
Meat Khinkali – 52NIS
Ispanakhi Kada – 48NIS
Satsivi – 39NIS
Malabi – 28NIS
Australian Gewurztraminer – 128 NIS

All in all: 314 NIS

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

3.5 Forks


Food:  Georgian
Price:  Medium-Expensive
Location: Lilenblum

Contact details: Nanuchka

Address:  30 Lilenblum Street, Tel Aviv | 03-5162254, 057-2274198
Opening Hours:  Sunday-Saturday 12:00-late (No English Menu)

Business Class – The Social Club

5 Aug

There are very few places in Tel Aviv that are better located than the Social club. During the day, the small plaza between Rothschild and Ahad Ha’am is packed with the Tel Aviv stock exchange employees doing their business just a few stories above and lawyers who fill the law firms around the area. During the night, Rothschild is getting filled with a young, hip crowd. The combination is truly reflected on the restaurant which attracts both the tie-wearing business men and the who’s-and-whose of Tel Aviv’s night.

The Social Club

At first sight you can definitely appreciate the setting of the Social club – a fancy bistro atmosphere, dominated by dramatic black colors. Having a large bar and high tables on the outside, you can almost feel you are high-stake business man in NY city rather than in the hot and humid Tel Aviv.

After given a series of recommendations about the place, we decided to celebrate Inbar’s birthday at the Social Club, right after a (strongly recommended) Segway trip on the beautiful Jaffa port and right before an Efrat Gosh performance in Hertzliya.

Sea Fish Carpaccio

We started off with glasses of wine, to celebrate properly.  The fresh garden salad we took was just as the name suggested. Fresh lettuce, red onions and Parmesan cheese came together as a good salad but nothing special. On the other hand, Sea fish Carpaccio with radish, red peppers, mint and olive oil was very good.

Garden Salad

Next came the main courses; Hanger Steak (from the day specials) was the best we ever had. A prime cut, cooked perfectly on the grill, served with a bone marrow delight and wonderful mashed potatoes truly elated us. Another main course was Seafood Pasta containing Perciatelli pasta, Mussels, Shrimps & Calamari in a white wine, lemon and garlic sauce. Unfortunately, the pasta did not keep the same level and, although not bad at all, it was quite dull.

Hanger Steak

Seafood Pasta

Such a celebration must have a sweet ending, so we also grabbed a New York cream Cheesecake with Raspberries that was wonderful, huge and well suited the place.

New York Cheescake

Summarizing the Social Club, we were quite ambiguous. The Hanger Steak alone worth five stars, but one cannot ignore the other courses which did not meet this level and the expensive prices. We will come back as other courses really do intrigue us, but we will need another special occasion for that.

The check please (2 people)

Gewurztraminer by the glass – 35 NIS
Melbec Alamos by the glass – 35 NIS
Fresh Salad – 44 NIS
Sea Fish Carpaccio – 64 NIS
Toscan Seafood Pasta – 88 NIS
Hanger Steak – 120 NIS
Large Mineral Water – 24 NIS
NY Raspberry Cheesecake – 36 NIS
Espresso – 9 NIS

All in all: 455 NIS


Food: New York Bistro
Price: Expensive
Location: Rotchield / Ahad Ha’am

 The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale: 

4 Forks

Contact details: The Social Club

Address:  45 Rothschild, Tel Aviv | Phone: 03-5601114 |
Opening Hours:  Monday-Sunday 12:00 – 01:00

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