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.
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.
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.
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
Location: Ha’Tachana (old train station)
The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale
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