Archive | December, 2011

The Missing Connection – Montenegro

25 Dec

Update July 2013: The place is closed.

When we heard that the owners of Café Noir and Sebastian have opened a new place – we know it was something we have to try. In the first option I had – I have booked a table of three – for Elad, Adi and I. On a cold Saturday night we set in the front of the new well-designed restaurant.

The camera view

Montenegro, of course, is named after the Eastern European country – Montenegro.  Although I’m not an expert of the South-Eastern European food, I felt that restaurant does not go “all the way”, and does not embrace the South-Eastern European experience.

The Appetizers

We started with two of the appetizers from the menu – Taboulah Salad and Solika’s Eggplant. Solika’s recipe was deep fried eggplant with garlic, lemon and parsley. The Taboulah salad was based on another popular recipe of Burgul, Onion, tomato and parsley. In short – nothing remarkable, two appetizers that you will find in any oriental restaurant (and it doesn’t matter whether it is Arabic or European).

Entrecôte Burger

For the main course Adi took the Entrecôte Burger served on top of Bruschetta with interesting Matbucha sauce (instead of Ketchup) and garlic Aioli with lemon (Instead of Mayonnaise). A very good Burger with original interpretation that managed to avoid the cliché. Nevertheless, the absence of side dish was highly noticed. Elad took Grilled Pork Chops that was served with garlic paste, and found it very tasty, though finished quickly.

Grilled Pork Chops

For myself, I have ordered the Hangar Beef skewer that was served with grilled potatoes. The skewer was good though had too little meat. The good side of the dish was actually the potatoes that were very crispy and escorted the dish perfectly alongside Elad’s garlic paste.

Hangar Beef Skewer

For dessert we had one of the most diverse desserts we had lately – Dulce de Leche Flan. The flan was made up of four parts – the flan itself, whipped cream, fruit jam and biscuit. A very good, sweet and tasty combination that suited our drinks – short espresso and berries tea.

Dulce de Leche Flan

Although we are still looking for the Montenegrin connection, it was very good meal with excellent service and nice atmosphere.

The Gang

The Check Please (3 people)

Taboulah Salad – 14NIS
Solika’s Eggplant – 14NIS
Entrecôte Burger – 67NIS
Grilled Pork Chops – 54NIS
Hangar Beef Skewer – 54NIS
Dulce de Leche Flan – 33NIS
Gewurztraminer Wine (Bottle) – 130NIS
Espresso – 12NIS
Tea – 22NIS

All in all – 400 NIS

Summary:

Food: Eastern European / Balkan
Price: Medium-Expensive
Location: Echad Haam / Heart of Tel Aviv

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

3.5 Forks

Contact Details: Montenegto

Address:  26 Nachmani st. Tel Aviv | Phone: 03-5663331 |
Sunday – Wednesday 12:00-01:00 | Thursday Friday 12:00-02:00 | Saturday 12:00-01:00 |
http://www.rest.co.il/sites/Default.asp?txtRestID=12341

Tourist Spot: Not What You’d Expect – Kitchen Market

17 Dec

The market – Here we are again. The market restaurant scene is getting crowded as many restaurants join the trend. Some more successful (La Shuk for example), some don’t have much more than the trend (Montefiore 7). Eventually you’ll judge a “Market” restaurant based on fresh goods and the chef’s creativity and execution.

The Market in a Plate – Spanish Mackerel

The farmers market at Tel Aviv Port is a tricky location. At first sight it’s a perfect location – Sea View, interested tourists, locals with families and the nice market at your fingertips. Even though, such locations invite boring restaurants, counting on the setting alone as well as tourist traps, having a lousy value for money. Many restaurants located at the port’s deck answer these definitions. “Kitchen Market” though, is different altogether.

Pizza Milanese

Take the Pizza Milanese or the Beef Fillet Skewer for example. A Pizza in such a place as like a Beef Skewer allegedly does not relate to the market or the sea location and could very well be the fall of the dinner. In reality, the pizza, topped with Buffalo Mozarella, Italian Sausage and fresh tomatoes was the best we had in many years, not only because of the toppings but also the crunchy thin dough which brings lots of Italian memories. The Beef Skewer actually did come from the market’s butchery and showed that the butchery is well worth a visit.

Genius – Crispy Polenta Sticks

Two fried dishes of Melita fish and Crispy Polenta sticks were quite different from each other. The fried fish dish was escorted with lots of market supply like eggplant, chili and lemon which were great but actually hid the fish which lost it taste a little in the pan (we also think the dish is overpriced). The Polenta sticks on the other hand were genius, no less. It seemed like the chef gave all his heart while preparing the corn polenta and the delicate crisp. If you search for a drink escort this must be the dish for you. With a contrast, Truffle French Fries dish showed that Truffle should be used only where it fits.

Melita fish – Lost its taste

The Antipasti dish as well as the Spanish Mackerel was the market itself on our plates. We actually felt the beautiful goods from downstairs (Kitchen Market is located on the second floor) took the stairs straight to us.

The Market’s Antipasti

A summer Panacota (yes, late post… better than never) and a Coffee Brule, were just two of what seems to be a very inviting dessert vitrine you can’t help but to stare at. While it could have endangered the whole impression of the restaurant, as like the whole dinner, Kitchen Market doesn’t let itself fall. Not even for a minute.

Longing the Summer – Panacota

Excellent Coffee Brule

The check please (4 people)

Big Crispy Polenta Sticks – 31 NIS
Small Antipasti – 24 NIS
Pizza Milanese – 62 NIS
Beef Fillet Skewer – 72 NIS
Chicken Garganali – 58 NIS
Melitas – 72 NIS
Small Spanish Mackerel – 26 NIS
Truffle French Fries – 19 NIS
Summer Panacota – 36 NIS
Coffee Crème Brule – 38 NIS
Proseco (Bottle) – 98 NIS

All in all: 536 NIS

Summary:

Food: Market
Price: Medium-Expensive
Location: Tel Aviv Port – Farmers Market

 The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale: 

4.5 Forks

Contact details: Kitchen Market
Address: Hangar 12, Tel Aviv Port, Tel Aviv | Phone: 057-9426881 |
Opening Hours:  Monday-Thursday 12:30-16:30, 18:00-24:00 Friday-Saturday 09:00-16:30, 18:00-24:00
http://kitchenmarket.rest-e.co.il/

Italian Experience at the Heart of Tel Aviv – La Repubblica (di RoniMottti)

10 Dec

Lately, while talking a walk in the quarter of the heart of Tel Aviv, we noticed that our favorite restaurant from Ramat Hachayal is working on a new branch. Over the weekend, while reading our favorite magazine – Time Out Tel Aviv, we have realized that it is not a new branch but rather a relocation. RoniMotti, one of the best Italian places in the city have decided to get closer to the heart of Tel Aviv. The week after we have already booked a table in order to check the new place with Shahar’s parents – Zipi and Shaul.

Bread and Antipasti

We started with complimentary Bread and Antipasti. This antipasti is a good example of how this dish can be served in so many restaurant in the city but only few will really know how to execute it well. On top of quality olive oil there they were – oven baked vegetables such us Beet, Onion and Pepper alongside Olives and tasty slices of Parmesan cheese. The bread was crispy from the outside and soft from the inside. With the bread came some crunchy bread sticks that were topped with nigella seeds that gave it its edgy taste.

Rocula Carcciofi & Fichi

For starters Shaul and Zipi shared the Rocula Carcciofi Salad, Fish Carpaccio and Fichi. Fichi are slices of fresh figs and real buffalo mozzarella cheese that were topped with balsamic sauce and basil olives. This classic Italian salad (Fichi are figs in Italian) was surprisingly not dull at all and the balsamic sauce was cooked to be contracted and thick. The Fish Carpaccio was gentle and light, perfect match for the crispy bread.

Beef & Fish Carpaccio

We shared the Beef Carpaccio that was, again, seasoned with good olive oil, parmesan cheese and Rocula leaves. As its colleague dish, the Fish Carpaccio, the Beef Carpaccio was made of good beef (Sirloin) and suited the bread perfectly. In addition, we were served complimentary Malfatti. Malfatti are kind of dumplings made of spinach and cheese on top of Rosa (tomato) sauce. The combination of the melted cheese and the cream sauce, made it, as appose to the other starters, a heavy dish.

Veal Cannelloni

After a massive attack of appetizers and starters, and after drinking a first round of fine Flam Classico (Israeli red wine of Flam winery), we were ready for the main courses. This time we decided to split – Shahar took the Veal Cannelloni – Canneloni Pasta filled with slow cooked chopped Veal and tomatoes sauce – a true Italian dish that does not try to flatter the average Israeli diner – and tastes great.

Tagliatelle with Shrimps and Carcciofi

Inbar took Tagliatelle with Shrimps and Carcciofi that were cooked in lemon, white wine and butter sauce. A simple dish with quality ingredients – from the homemade pasta to the fresh Shrimps, and especially the lemon sauce that gave the dish it unique flavors. Zipi and Shaul shared the Sirloin steak that was perfectly cooked and served with beef stock and spinach. A good steak is measure by the beef quality and the cooking quality. In that case, both were at a very high class.

Sirloin Steak

For dessert, our first two choices were missing from the menu that evening, so we head to settle for Crème Brule and Tiramisu, both served at their classic version – not too bad (or even good), but nothing to write home (or post) about. As in the previous phases of the dinner, so as in the dessert phase, the owner (Motti) did not forget us – we were served complimentary chocolate cake. At that stage it was already overloading of sweets and we pretty much skipped it (Although appreciating the nice gesture).

Tiramisu

When coming to the end of the post, you will probably say it is hard to critic when receiving so many complimentary dishes. But, our dear readers – have no fear! We are professional writers, and as such we know to compliment a place when it deserved it and definitely criticize when needed. This time, with a whole heart (and stomach) we will definitely recommend you book table ASAP.

The Check Please (4 people)

Fish Carpaccio – 52NIS
Beef Carpaccio – 48NIS
Fichi – 48NIS
Rocula Carcciofi – 42NIS
Tagliatelle – 72NIS
Veal Cannelloni – 78-NIS
Sirloin Steak – 110NIS
Water – 20 NIS
Flam Classico – 138NIS
Crème Brule – 38NIS
Tiramisu – 32NIS

Summary:

Food: Italian
Price: Medium-Expensive
Location: Heart of Tel Aviv / Allenby

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

4 Forks

Contact Details: La Repubblica di RoniMottti

Address:  3 Mazeh st. Tel Aviv | Phone: 03-6470247 |
Opening Hours: Sunday – Friday 8:30-24:00 Saturday 9:30-24:00 |
http://larepubblica.co.il/

New House, Old Food – Casa Nova

3 Dec

Rainy Friday noon in Jaffa in amazing arched building – we set a brunch in a ceviche place named Casa Nova, or as the sign say “Cevicheria”. The place tells about itself that their specialty is new Latin food.  Sounds premising in theory, but in practice… well, read this post and decide for yourself.

Mixto

Inbar took the Mixto – mix of Fish, Shrimps, Calamari and Mussels in lime, red onion and coriander in chili cream, which was probably the highlight of the meal – a nice and fresh sea salad. Shahar took Escabeche –Fish “a la plancha” in vinegar of onion and pepper served on top of avocado crème. The fish was soaked in vinegar for too long which caused it to be very sour and not so tasty. Adi took Calentado, rice with black beans and tomato sauce topped with egg, sunny side up style, and mullet fish fillet. The rice was undercooked, the egg came in a different plate (they forgot to serve it…) and the fish seemed to come from a different story (although Adi thought it was nicely cooked).

Escabeche - The fish was soaked in vinegar for too long

Calentado - fish from a different story

We have also shared Remolacha & Almojabanas. Remolacha is a beet salad that was served with carrots, coriander seeds and Manchego cheese. The salad wasn’t special but it was good due to the fine cheese that supplied that needed edge.  Almojabanas are scones of corn and cheese that were quite unique and suited the salad.

Remolacha - Beet Salad

Almojabanas - scones of corn and cheese

We were also served a complimentary dish (that was charged by mistake) – Choritos – Mussels and shells with salsa of red onion and tomatoes. The dish was small and the mussels felt as they were taken out of freezer.

Choritos

To sum up the experience – the setting is amazing and you can have some wonderful sea view but the food is somewhat disappointing.  If you’re just looking for an outstanding sea view – go for it, just don’t expect outstanding food.

The Check Please (3 people)

Calentado – 74NIS
Escabeche – 39NIS
Almojabanas – 28NIS
Remolacha – 21NIS
Mixto – 40NIS
Cava Brut – 48NIS
Mineral water – 14NIS
Choritos – 28NIS

All in all: 264NIS

Summary:

Food: Sea food / Latin
Price: High
Location: Jaffa port

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

3 Forks

Contact Details: Casa Nova

Address:  Ratzif Haalya Hashnia 48, Jaffa port| Phone: 03-5413636
http://www.casa-nova.co.il

%d bloggers like this: