This week we had a date with Yael and Yoni at the (currently) trendiest place in Tel Aviv – Café Europe. In Tel Aviv, where new restaurants open on a daily bases, every new restaurant has its 15 minutes of fame and since their lifetime is so short one should use it wisely. If last summer it was the Mizlala, this year (not very far away by the way), on the trendy Rothschild Street, it is Café Europe turn.
When I say trendy I mean that anyone who is “someone”, should find himself drinking wine on their bar. It also means that three days before our meeting, when Yael called to make reservations the hostess “did us a favor” and “pushed” us between 21:15 to 23:15 (Gee, thanks). And it basically means that they can over-charge for anything (scroll down to the menu or stay tuned). Oh and yes, they don’t have an online menu so you won’t know that in advance.
The menu is divided to 3 sections. One would expect that the graphical division will hint for the difference between the dishes size (Or their role in the dinner) – appetizer, starters and main courses. But it didn’t. Café Europe does not have any real “large” size courses. All of them are between tiny and medium (if you are lucky) and I’m saying it while taking the dish price under consideration. Take the Lamb tortellini with dry fruits “main course” for example that contains five tortellinis and cost 69 NIS. It was a good dish but way too small to share. But first things firsts, let’s go back to the starters.
The tomatoes-salad-that-every-restaurant-in-Tel-Aviv-must-have was executed as expected – several types of tomatoes, some grilled and some fresh, with a lot of garlic and goat cheese. It was good as the opening dish. Another dish we took was described on the menu as “Shrimps Cutlet, coconut milk and dreams about Thailand”. Well, they were right. In 3 weeks from now we will leave on a jet plane for a short vacation in the land of shakes and Pad Thai. Until now, the longing was repressed. After eating this dish (and the Seafood plate later) – we cannot wait anymore. Thailand, here we come!
Back to the table in the humid Tel Aviv – We took to additional starters that were on the specials board –“Polenta with asparagus” and “Labneh, Matbuha and Red Mullets”. Both of them were good and tasty. The Polenta was yet another very little dish. The Fish were fried and had a deep “sea” taste which Yoni didn’t like but we found as good.
While we were still eating the fish Yael mentioned she was pleased with the timing of the dished arrived to our table. At that exact moment, Shahar’s main dish had arrived to the table, too early to its time in the game. The waitress accused the kitchen for the mistake but took no responsibility for the failure. Shahar took the Hanger steak and while he was eating his dish we were towards the end of the starts. The Hanger Steak itself was very nicely cooked, medium-rare in the inside while still burned and crunchy on the outside.
For the so-called-main-course I took the seafood plate that I have already mentioned. I think it was the most surprising dish in the dinner. I wasn’t expecting to have more Thai tastes in this meal and this was a good surprise alongside with a crab that I managed to eat without making a mess on my shirt. Yael took that tiny tortellini dish and Yoni took Meatballs in Pita Bread. According to Yoni, the Pita wasn’t fresh and contained too much onion. Judging according to the leftovers, it wasn’t as good as he expected.
We ended our dinner with Savarin cake (Rum baba) which was nice and a bit retro in my opinion.
When we got the bill we thought it was a good dinner but it did not justify the price. On our previous post was about Elba, we had pretty much the same amount of dishes and paid equal price to the one at Café Europe. However, we could not escape the feeling the Elba was much more value for money, in the dish size perspective as well as taste. Nevertheless, at the end of the day we are all fashion victims. We meet at Café Europe because we wanted to know what everyone is talking about. Café Europe is just using their 15 minutes of fame.
The Check Please (4 people)
Bread – 13 NIS
Red Mullets with Matbuha – 45 NIS
Polenta – 32 NIS
Tomatoes salad – 43 NIS
Shrimps Cutlet – 42NIS
Seafood plate – 89 NIS
Hanger steak – 85NIS
Lamb Tortellini – 69 NIS
Meatballs Pita – 49NIS
Savarin cake – 32NIS
Coke – 12 NI
Diet Coke – 12 NIS
Traminer Wine – 168 NIS
Stela – 26NIS
All in all: 743 NIS
Food: Mediterranean (Were was Europe during this dinner?)
Price: Very expensive
Location: Rotchield street
The Cizer Kobrinsky Scale
Contact details: Café Europe
Address: 9 Rothschild street | Phone: 03-5259987 | Online menu not available