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Sunset at Tel Aviv – Fitzroy

27 Sep

Often, we are been asked for recommendation on a good restaurant in Tel Aviv by our acquaintances, looking for a good place to celebrate personal events. Often, we recommend about one of our favorite places – Kalamata. When we heard that the owners have opened a new place in front of Tel Aviv’s boardwalk we knew this is a place we must try.

The location is a bit confusing. It is so good you can easily fall in to the “over-priced-tourist-spot-next-to-the-beach” cliché. After all, this location have introduced some tourist restaurants in the past. Gladly, we have found another great place that does not compromise on quality nor originality.

Sunset in Tel Aviv

Sunset in Tel Aviv

With no “special occasion” we have decided to be spontaneous and check the sunset from Fitzroy’s balcony. We have decided to escort this sunset with their special cocktails – Shahar took “Flor de Sangrìa” Peach, Pineapple, Pear, Jasmine, Hazel nuts and Sparkling White Wine. I took “English Garden Cup” which is Celery infused Gin, Orange Liqueur, Rosata Vermouth, Citrus, Tarragon and Spicy Ginger ale. Both of them were very special cocktails you will not find easily in another place.

Black Gnocchi and Calamari

Black Gnocchi and Calamari

We have started with one of the specials – Black Gnocchi and Calamari. Needless to say that the Gnocchi melted in our mouth and the calamari were perfectly cooked on the grill. What we should actually mention is the amazing sauce that the Gnocchi and Calamri were “sitting” on. It was some kind of Crab Bisque, I would even say one of the best that we have ever tasted. I have considered to change the main course to a fish one just because I suspected that it will be there too. The waitress cancelled my thoughts when she said she is not sure it will be the same Bisque.

Raw Fish Slice

Raw Fish Slice

Our “Originality Award” in this meals goes to our second starter of Raw Fish Slice that was simply described as “Crispy pastry, Drum fish, Tomatoes, Red peppers, Parmesan, Olives, Basil”. Nothing could prepare us to the way it was severed – scale model of pizza in a delivery box with Tabasco. But instead of pizza we got a crispy pastry topped with fish covered with “pizza-like” topping. Except for its look and feel it was also tasty, though quite small (coming from the “Bar Snacks” menu).

Sirloin and Fillet of Lamb

Sirloin and Fillet of Lamb

We have shared a main course of Sirloin and Fillet of Lamb – Bourbon lamb stock, Potatoes and Spinach crème. The dish was very geometric as the meat and the potatoes were cut very accurately. The sauce once again was a winner and Shahar even said that it was probably one of the best lamb dishes he ate since “Jaffa Tel-Aviv”.

Porcini Brule

Porcini Brule

For desert we chose something that can easy sound as another main dish – Porcini Brule – a regular Brule topped with chestnut cream (that was there to replace the burned sugar layer). Served with Porcini ice cream and passion fruit twill that was there to replace the regular crispiness of a Brule.

This was definitely one of the most creative meals that we have ate lately. Nevertheless it did not impact the level of flavors or quality.  This definitely goes in to our “recommended list”.

The check please (2 people)

Pepsi – 12NIS
Soda water – 11NIS
Flor de Sangrìa – 40 NIS
English Garden Cup – 42NIS
Raw Fish Slice – 28NIS
Black Gnocchi and Calamari – 39NIS
Sirloin and Fillet of Lamb – 132NIS
Porcini Brule – 38NIS

All in all 342 NIS

Summary:

Food: Mediterranean
Price: Very expensive
Location: Tel Aviv Boardwalk

The Cizer Kobrinsky scale: 

4.5 Forks

4.5 Forks

Contact details: Fitzroy
136 Hayarkon st. Tel Aviv | +972-3-520-6100

The Exact Point – A Place for Meat (Makom Shel Basar)

31 Aug

In a 100 radius, in the northern tip of Neve Tzedek neighborhood, lay two of the best steakhouses in Tel Aviv (and probably in Israel), NG and A Place for Meat. Though there are enough carnivores in the city to fill the both, there is probably an enormous competition between the two places which constantly receive very good reviews from all around. Strangely enough, until this day we haven’t visited a Place for Meat. And then we did.

As a bold move, unlike NG, A Place for Meat introduces a menu where Steaks are the only main courses. Yes, it might not fit everyone, and maybe it isn’t the whole family classic place, but if it is a good Steak you are looking for, in a very romantic atmosphere as a plus, this is a very good option.

Caeser Salad

Caeser Salad

We did have some warm-up with starters such as Caeser Salad which was a classic dish that didn’t fill us up too much before the steaks, and the same goes to grilled Artichoke hearts in lemon and olive oil. Both of the dishes didn’t stand up as particularly good, but we didn’t mind as we were there to check whether the steaks are the best in town.

Fillet of Beef

Fillet of Beef

How unoriginal from us, we both picked the same part of the beef, the Fillet of Beef. Usually, veteran carnivores will disregard this part while praise the hanger steak and the more meat-flavored parts, but even though, the Fillet of Beef remains a very popular steak, and we were reminded why. Both of the steaks had the desirable external crust while tender and “al punto” just as we liked. Was it the best steak in Tel Aviv? Probably. The sides, baked potatoes and a famous Tower of onion rings were very good and summed up a great steak dinner at a very lovely place.

Tower of onion rings

Tower of onion rings

The check please (2 people)
Caeser Salad – 42 NIS
Artichoke Hearts – 36 NIS
Fillet of Beef – 2 X 145 NIS
Pepsi – 13 NIS
San Pellegrino  – 14 NIS

All in all – 395 NIS

Summary:

Food: Meat
Price:  Expensive
Location: Neve Tzedek

The Cizer Kobrinsky Scale:

4.5 Forks

4.5 Forks

Contact Details: A Place for Meat
64 Shabazi St, Neve Tzedek,  Tel Aviv | 03-5296054 |
Mon – Sat 12:00 – 00:00 | http://makomshelbasar.rest-e.co.il

A True Stark – Aria

13 Jul

A while ago I was looking for a nice restaurant for some quality time with my husband, after I didn’t see him for a week while I was in Romania.  The decision was made to Aria, a new restaurant that has been on our “to-do” list for a while. Aria is located in a beautiful reconstructed building that contains 2 floors. The first floor serves as a cocktail bar and the second floor is a classic European restaurant of the promising chef Guy Gamzo. As expected, we choose the restaurant.

Aria Gin and Tonic

Aria Gin and Tonic

Since they have a cocktail bar on the floor below, I decided to start with “Aria Gin and Tonic” that contained (in addition to the basics) cucumber, spring onion, coriander dill & orange that made this cocktail very special and refreshing.

Coquilles St. Jacques

Coquilles St. Jacques

We decided to share three starts and one main dish. For starters we took Coquilles St. Jacques, Porcini mushrooms & Tortellini Raghu. The Coquilles St. Jacques were served in white almond cream and lobster foam that was amazing and we both really liked it. The flavors were fantastic and we had to fight for the leftovers.

Eggs & mushrooms

Eggs & mushrooms

The porcini mushrooms was actually a dish of two minute egg on wild porcini mushrooms & smoked duck. Although I have weakness for soft eggs, this dish did not meet our expectations. It was served in a very special plate but the plate was not made to contain the yolk liquid that spilled over the plate’s socket.

Tortellini Raghu

Tortellini Raghu

The Tortellini Raghu contained generous amount of meat and had the feeling of a beef that was cooked on a low heat for quite a while. The sauce was also quite good and we wiped it with the complimentary bread we were served.

Duck breast

Duck breast

For the main dish we shared the blush duck breast in its broth along with strawberry coulis. Usually we don’t have a lot of opportunities to eat duck. This was a fantastic opportunity as the dish was absolutely amazing. The duck breast was cooked to the right measure and it was pink and soft.  The puree that was served with it was smooth and suited the dish perfectly. A true hit.

Lemon tart

Lemon tart

For dessert we took the open Lemon Tart and Italian meringue with a zest of raspberry jelly. That was only a nice dessert, nothing more. But it did sign a very good meal of European flavors. We would definitely come back.

Summary

Food: Cocktail Bar & Bistro
Price: Expensive
Location: Nachlat Binyamin

The check please (2 people)
Aria Gin and Tonic – 47NIS
Coquilles St. Jacques – 65NIS
Eggs & mushrooms – 48NIS
Tortellini Raghu – 65NIS
Duck breast – 98NIS
Lemon tart – 42NIS
Sparkling water – 11NIS
2 X Espresso – 20NIS
San Miguel – 25NIS

All in all – 421 NIS

The Cizer Kobrinsky Scale:

4.5 Forks

4.5 Forks

Contact Details: Aria
Address:  66 Nachlat Binyamin St, Tel Aviv | 03-5296054 | http://ariatlv.co.il/

Best of the Best? Mul Yam

27 Jun

When it comes to true fine dining, Tel Aviv doesn’t offer many options. It might be the endless summer dictating the dress code in the city, or it might be that the Israeli cuisine is simply less formal than the European one. Nonetheless, Tel Aviv still possesses one of the most famous seafood fine-dine restaurant in the world – Mul Yam. Mentioned in Les Grandes Tables Du Monde, Mul Yam is arguably the best restaurant in Israel, presenting fish and seafood from all around the world. Matching the price to its products, you will be best to do as we did, and try to go for its Business lunch, available on weekends too.

Arriving a little early for lunch, at about 12:00, we were the first table for the day, and the place looked a bit like a museum, where the white table cloths and the silverware were all still in their exact spot. Even though, and despite the fact the outside windows makes it feel a bit like an aquarium, we were treated very nice by the waitress and haven’t got the feeling of strangers eating in an exclusive Oligarch place.

Looking at the business lunch menu, it seems a 170 NIS is indeed a fair price to pay for such products (at least once in a special occasion). Half a dozen Normandy Oysters, Coquille St. Jacques, Blue Crab and Canadian Lobster will make any seafood enthusiast to drool even before the food comes in. But it did have lot to prove making us say it is the best restaurant in the land of milk and honey.

The bread

The bread

After very good bread as an appetizer, we received two starters: Salmon Sashimi, Japanese Style, of a premium Norwegian Salmon, and Scallop Cassoulet, with lentils and smoked Eggplant sauce. The Salmon was amazing and quite different than the “simple” Sashimi Salmon you would normally get anywhere. The minimalism of the Japanese escorts (Ginger, Wassabi and Soy sauce) were a good idea to keep focus on the brilliant salmon. On the other hand, the Scallop dish rather lacked minimalism. Though the Scallops were seared perfectly, the lentils weren’t that good and the sauce simply took over, which was a shame as the scallop taste got lost there.

Salmon Sashimi

Salmon Sashimi

Scallop Cassoulet

Scallop Cassoulet

Off to the main dishes, we took seafood again: Grilled Langoustine with Lobster sauce and root vegetables, and “Popeye’s” Shrimp, with Turkish spinach, Feta cheese and poached egg. The Langoustine was simply amazing, filled with a lot meat, and juicy from the fabulous sauce – couldn’t get any better. The Shrimp dish was very unique, but it suites a real spinach lover, as it controlled the dish. But again, the Shrimp itself was excellent.

“Popeye’s” Shrimp

“Popeye’s” Shrimp

Grilled Langoustine

Grilled Langoustine

On the dessert section, though we knew there are better ones, we couldn’t help taking the famous “Faberge Egg”, which is basically sugar-made egg, filled with Chestnut ice cream, vanilla cream and caramelized almonds. Though it looks like a real museum piece, you really better off choosing another dessert other than this dull one.

Faberge Egg

Faberge Egg

Wow, how can you summarize such a meal in the one of the most famous places in Tel Aviv? Yes, when you expect the best of the best, you might get a little disappointed, we can’t say we loved every piece in that lunch. Even though, comparing to other restaurants around, it definitely presents a very unique set of products, which you probably know only from the best restaurants around the world. All in all, for 170 NIS for a business lunch it is well worth the experience.

Us

Us

The Check Please (2 people)

Business Lunch X2 – 340 NIS
Fabrege Egg – 70 NIS
Soda Water – 12 NIS
Orange Juice – 13 NIS

All in all: 435 NIS

Summary:

Food: Seafood Chef Restaurant
Price: Very Expensive
Location: Tel Aviv Port

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

4.5 Forks

4.5 Forks

Contact Details: Mul Yam
Address:  Hanger #23, Tel Aviv Port, Tel Aviv | Phone: 035469920
Opening Hours: Daily 12:30-15:30, 19:30-22:30
http://www.mulyam.com/indexEn.html

An Island – Elba

29 Jul

Once every few months, a new restaurant opens in Tel Aviv creates a massive buzz around it, with promising chef, some fine reviews and intensive PR. Elba, opened just a few months ago has created just that. It helped that Elba was founded at the floor of one of the new meant-for-rich 20 stories at the corner of Ibn-Gabirol and Shaul Hamelech.

Looking at Elba from the outside it does reminds an island (Elba is an Island in Tuscany, Italy), and not necessarily in a good way. Ibn Gabirol is somewhat a hectic street and the large glass windows showing the white table cloths make it feel almost as an aquarium. But on the other hand, this whole tower is some kind of an unrelated island in the middle of the City. Maybe the outside seating planned soon would combine Elba with the street a bit more.

Roasted Bread and Adyghe Cheese Salad

Roasted Bread and Adyghe Cheese Salad

In a way Elba’s food seems also as a unique scene in the city. It’s not that it is extremely original as it simply manages to step out of the city’s trendy-but-boring dishes. Take the roasted bread and Adyghe cheese salad. It is very easy to go with types of tomatoes as many other restaurants would do. Elba has decided to put white and greed asparagus with it, which along with the unique cheese gave it great crunchiness. Perfect.

Pickled Mackerels with White Wine and Avocado

Pickled Mackerels with White Wine and Avocado

Calamari Bruschetta with Mustard Leaves and Salicornia

Calamari Bruschetta with Mustard Leaves and Salicornia

Pickled Mackerels with white wine and avocado, as well as Calamari bruschetta with mustard leaves and Salicornia were both unique dishes but ones that did not rise above OK. One would still appreciate the originality and fearlessness of choosing such dishes for the menu. The Calamari a la plancha, was unfortunately slightly disappointing, especially after the other starters.

Calamari a la plancha

Calamari a la plancha

Even though, we didn’t stay disappointed for much long as the main courses soon arrived. A Seabass on top of tomato cream sauce with semolina and roasted green onions was executed perfectly. Eating that dish with a spoon, absorbing the sauce in the semolina that, in its turn suited well with the fish, was exceptional and showed what can be done with simple ingredients.

Seabass on top of Tomato Cream Sauce with Semolina and Roasted Green Onions

Seabass on top of Tomato Cream Sauce with Semolina and Roasted Green Onions

The other main courses were not far behind as well. A burnt Tuna steak with lemon vinaigrette and Kale salad was dreamy. The Tuna was bloody red inside and quite thick, which made it feel as a real fleshy steak, while the sauce had great sour taste in it (though one needs to like lemony sauce). Another dish of fried Sweetbreads with Zucchini pure was extremely “corrupting” and fatty and reminded me how much I like sweetbreads.

Burnt Tuna Steak with Lemon Vinaigrette and Kale salad

Burnt Tuna Steak with Lemon Vinaigrette and Kale salad

Fried Sweetbreads with Zucchini Pure

Fried Sweetbreads with Zucchini Pure

Two heavenly desserts of sweet & bitter oranges with coconut ice cream and Panacotta with watermelon ice cream concluded a great dinner we would definitely remember.

Two heavenly desserts

Two heavenly desserts

The Check Please (4 people)

Bread – 13 NIS
Water – 13 NIS
Calamari a la plancha – 47 NIS
Calamari Bruschetta – 45 NIS
Pickled Mackerels – 57 NIS
Roasted Bread Salad – 53 NIS
Burnt Tuna Steak – 95 NIS
Seabass – 93 NIS
Sweetbreads – 77 NIS
Sancerre whine (bottle) – 160 NIS
Panacotta – 37 NIS
Sweet & Bitter oranges – 37 NIS

All in all – 727 NIS

Summary:

Food: Mediterranean
Price: Expensive
Location: Ibn Gabirol / Shaul Hamelech

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

4.5 Forks

Contact Details: Elba
Address:  36 Ibn Gabirol st. Tel Aviv | Phone: 03-5467905 |
Daily (currently evenings only) |
no webpage

Serious Stuff – Mel & Michelle

30 Jan

It rarely happens that we go to a “fancy” place. Restaurants with such serious atmosphere, slow French music and textile napkins usually don’t do it to us. We are more into lively places where the average age is the older 20’s rather than early 50’s. BUT we heard so much about the most romantic restaurant in Tel Aviv (awarded two times in a row at “Time Out”) we had to give it a shot.

Mel & Michelle’s Bar

“Mel & Michelle” is located at the vibrant Ben Yehuda Street long after you pass the fabulous ice cream places around Gordon and the numerous pubs around Ben Gurion. Across the yet-to-be-reviewed trendy Shila, you’ll find the quiet Restaurant, which defines itself as an Italian-Middle Eastern Trattoria. We would define it as excellent. Simple as that.

Artichoke and Polenta

As we headed to our bar seats, we were a little intimidated by the crowd and the music, which was some piano cover album for famous hits. The prices were not a sight for sour eyes as well. Even though, the atmosphere was indeed very romantic, especially on the heavy wooden bar, and the food was, well, exceptional.

Roman Artichokes on top of soft Polenta was a wonderful dish mainly due to the Polenta made from fresh corn. The roasted Italian artichokes fitted well and only breadcrumbs interfered with the Italian harmony. The Parisian Gnocchi demonstrated how Italy and France can pull together one of the best dishes in town. The Gnocchi were made out of cheese rather than potatoes, melted in our mouths and were escorted by a white truffle sauce, but one that lifted the dish to extreme heights. That dish competes with Toto’s Chestnut Gnocchi fair and square.

Cheese Gnocchi

Though at that point it seemed almost not important what would come as main course, but we did share one. An in-house aged Fillet of Beef continued the same line. The beef was exceptionally tender and was escorted with a reduced red wine sauce and figs. For once I understood how a red wine sauce should be executed. It was a shame that the Potato Pure that came along did not reach the level of the rest of the dishes, but nevertheless we agreed, while having two shots of espresso, that Mel & Michelle is one hell of a restaurant.

Fillet of Beef

The Check Please (2 people)

Bread – OTH
Roman Artichoke – 58 NIS
Parisian Gnocchi – 57 NIS
Fillet of Beef – 132 NIS
2X Prosecco – 60 NIS
2X Espresso – 20 NIS
Soda water – 12 NIS

All in all – 339 NIS

Summary:

Food: Italian
Price: Very Expensive
Location: Ben Yehuda – Arlozerov

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

4.5 Forks

Contact Details: Mel & Michelle
Address:  155 Ben Yehuda st. Tel Aviv | Phone: 03-5293232 |
Daily 19:00-00:00 Saturday 12:00-16:00 |
http://www.rol.co.il/sites/mel-michelle/

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/

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