Archive | November, 2011

Game of Thrones – Bertie

26 Nov

Fatush Salad

At the bi-weekly meeting with Elad and Adi I chose the new restaurant that was opened in King George Street. The street is named after George V, king of the United Kingdom. Bertie was actually the nickname of his son, George VI. The reviews I read about the place were quite good and I was eager to test (and taste) it.

Oxtail

Bertie is a small and nice restaurant that focuses on small-medium dishes that are meant to be shared. Their specialty is seafood though the meat is not absent from the dinner’s plates as well. We started off with a “Fatush” salad that contains Artichoke, different kinds of Tomatoes, Olives, Onion and dried Mint, and was a fresh and good salad that fitted as an appetizer for the three of us.

Spicha

Adi’s instincts led her to take Oxtail with Quince, Honey and Cinnamon on top of Friki (green wheat), which was a very tasty dish that gave us the feeling of home cooking. Comfort food for a rainy day. Elad took the Spicha – baked beef on top of a puff pastry, served with boiled egg. The Spicha was nice but quite small dish. For myself, I have ordered Calamari salad that was served with Labaneh, Grilled Tomatoes, baked potatoes from the fire and hyssop. Though had a bit too much of Labaneh, the salad was fresh and quite good overall.

Calamari salad

Elad and I were still a bit hungry so we took a Hanger Steak skewer that was served with stuffed onion. The beef was amazing, soft and tender, and had a delicate touch of sweetness that suit the beef greatly. For dessert we took the Malabi with grilled Peach that was very creamy yet tasty as the dinner came to a close.

Malabi

All in all we had a nice meal with a happy Greek soundtrack that suited our mood. Bertie is a small, unpretending restaurant with fresh food and good atmosphere.

The Check Please (3 people)

Fatush Salad – 37NIS
Calamari Salad – 52NIS
Spicha – 35NIS
Oxtail – 70NIS
Cava – 85NIS
Hanger Steak – 41NIS
Malabi -32NIS

All in all: 352NIS

Summary:

Food: Sea food with touches of Beef
Price: Medium
Location: King George

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

3.5 Forks

Contact Details: The Brothers

Address:  88 King George, Tel Aviv | Phone: 072-2512950
Opening Hours:  Sunday – Saturday 18:00-00:00
http://www.mouse.co.il/CM.food_item_place,382,213,3954,.aspx

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Birthday Present – NG

19 Nov

Green Hill

For a long while Shahar has been dreaming about a good steak dinner at one of the famous steak restaurants in town. His birthday was a good opportunity for me to fulfill his wishes while investigating Neve Tzedek as tourists.

Beef Porterhouse - Before

We started the birthday celebration at G&D Luxury Suites, an old building that was converted to luxury suites. After we unpacked our suitcase, we took a walking tour in Neve Tzedek, looking at the antique buildings and enjoyed the boutique stores.  In the evening, we went outside our room and jumped into NG – the restaurant was literally “across the street”.

Beef Porterhouse - After

We started off with “Green Hill” – salad of chopped herbs with Shrimps and walnut in vinaigrette, a fresh and light dish that left us the exact amount of place we needed for the dinner highlight – 1 KG of Beef Porterhouse, about half of it tenderloin and half strip steak to share, an amazing piece of beef that was cooked to the right point. The beef was served with mashed potatoes, sweet potato chips and spinach.

Chestnut pie - Not the best we had

For dessert we took Chestnut pie with a scope of pistachio ice cream, which was a nice dish but one we could definitely skip.

All in all NG is a place almost perfect at what it does – Beef, while Neve Tzedek experience is perfect at what it supply – a romantic atmosphere.

The Check Please (2 people)

Green Hill – 48NIS
1KG Porterhouse – 270NIS
2X Zinfandel (by the glass) – 56NIS
Soda water – 11NIS
Chestnut pie with Pistachio ice cream – 41NIS
2X Espresso – 18NIS

All in all: 444 NIS

Summary:

Food: Steak House
Price: Expensive
Location: Neve Tzedek

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

4 Forks

Contact Details: NG

Address:  6 Ahad Haam, Neve Tzedek, Tel Aviv | Phone: 03-5167888
Opening Hours:  Sunday – Thursday 18:00-01:00 http://www.ngrestaurant.co.il/english/index.html

The Blues Brothers – Haachim

13 Nov

Before I’ll start I have to give a proper disclosure. I don’t like the 80’s. There, I said it. Though born in the decade, I always find it somewhat redundant. I was never sympathetic of Gorbachev, East Germany, Boom Boxes, Pac-Man and Big hair style. Oh and Israeli “Middle Eastern” Steakhouses. The Israeli oriental steak house is somewhat an import of an Arabic style of serving with the simplest way of beef cooking – grilled. The 80’s were a blossom for these Middle Eastern restaurants which always included a generous amount of pre-made salads and a medium-level grilled kebabs or skewers.

Haachim - Urban Setting

Since the 80’s, the amount of Eastern restaurants had decreased as more modern kitchens entered the culinary space, though some still survive. Imagine the surprise we had when we saw a new such restaurant opened just now at the heart of Tel Aviv.

“Ha’achim” (The Brothers), located at Ibn Gabirol, is an effort to take the Middle Eastern cuisine and bring it to our times, along with an up-to-date urban setting, cumbersome salads and upgraded types of beef.

Opening Salads

The bunch of salads that came to the table weren’t necessarily better than the common Middle Eastern salads. The Tehini was quite good and the black lentils salad was very nice, but the carrot salad was mediocre, the grapes and onions were too cumbersome for us and the red cabbage and truffles (?!) was simply a weird combination.

Sweetbread Skewer

Having mixed feelings for the salads, we were happy that at least our skewers were not bad at all. A skewer of sweetbread was juicy, very well grilled and generally very good while a Beef Fillet skewer was nice but didn’t stand out.

Beef Fillet Skewer

Skipping the desserts (being afraid as desserts in Middle Eastern restaurants are not usually recommended), we decided that, although “The Brothers” presents a nice value-for-money, the attempt to bring the 80’s to our time didn’t succeed in this case. Though not really comparable, Haj Kahil (or Al Reda in Nazareth) is better suited for those who look for true Middle-Eastern food.

The Check Please (2 people)

2X Salads (including refill) – 44 NIS
Beef Fillet Skewer – 36 NIS
Sweetbread Skewer – 35 NIS
Soda Water – 10 NIS
Nestea (w/ refill) – 13 NIS

All in all: 138 NIS

Summary:

Food: Middle Eastern
Price: Medium
Location: Ibn Gabirol

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

2.5 Forks

Contact Details: The Brothers

Address:  12 Ibn Gabirol, Tel Aviv | Phone: 03-6917171
Opening Hours:  Sunday – Saturday 12:00-Late
http://www.rest.co.il/sites/Default.asp?txtRestID=12031 (No English)

Consistent Beauty – Sebastian

6 Nov

As restaurants enthusiasts, we often encounter the “second visit effect”. Restaurants which elated us in the first visit just didn’t perform the same in the second time. While this could occur because of our high expectations or a deceiving memory, many restaurants are simply inconsistent with their food quality.

Lamb filled Ravioli

Sebastian, located at the oh-so-commercialized area of Hertzliya-Pituach, is different. For some reason, when coming to decide about a place to have dinner, Sebastian rarely comes to my mind, and I never expect a really great dinner there, but actually I am always wrong. Dinner at Sebastian is a consistently fabulous dinner.

Filleted Sea Bream

The other day, when we were invited by my parents (Shahar) to the place, owned by the same group that owns Cafe Noir, we were really excited by the food. Take the Calamari A-la plancha for example: A dish we have ordered a dozen times at least. The coriander and yogurt seasoning together with lime juice and olive oil made it no less than perfect. The fish ceviche was also quite unique as the fish was a little thicker than usual and the tiger tomatoes added fresh flavors.

Filleted Salmon fish covered with black sesame

The entrees showed once again that Sebastian doesn’t have its ups and downs but it rather serves quality courses consistently. Lamb filled Ravioli with Mascarpone cheese, mushrooms and truffles sauce were heavenly and surprisingly not heavy at all. Filleted Sea Breams a la plancha were very well cooked.

Banana Tart

The last main course did not showed consistency and accuracy unlike others, but rather pure greatness. Filleted Salmon fish sounds like a dish served at the nearest coffee place, but this one, covered with black sesame (turning it almost to a Japanese course), was amazingly pink in its middle and delightfully crispy on the edges.

Pear Tart

Two deserts of Banana Tart and Pear Tart were quite tasteful as well and left us with a feeling that there are restaurants, although few, that insist on keeping their level up high. Sebastian is definitely one of those places.

Summary:

Food: Bistro
Price: Expensive
Location: Hertzliya-Pituach

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

4.5 Forks

Contact details: Dallal

Address: 33 Maskit Street, Herzliya Pituach, Herzeliya| Phone: 09-9513939|Opening Hours:  Sun-Wed: 12:00 – 24:00, Thu: 12:00 – 01:00, Fri: 09:00 – 01:00, Sat: 09:00 – 24:00   | http://sebastian.rest-e.co.il  (English Menu)

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