Tag Archives: Bistro

Keeping it Simple – Café Italia

15 Mar
Cafe Italia

Cafe Italia

There is a common thing between all good Italian restaurants around the world – they are all simple. Italian cuisine hails the products themselves and does not appreciate cumbersomeness and over sophistication. The reason there are really a few good ones is that you can’t hide behind lots of sauces and spices, unlike other kitchens. Many good Italian restaurants are family-run, as the recipes classics and mostly are not pretentious.

Café Italia tries to bring the simplicity of the Italian kitchen into a large and inviting space with a bistro atmosphere, and for the most of the times, it works.

Carpaccio

Carpaccio

Take the assorted mushrooms starter for example. You would expect to read this kind of dish description in a coffee place – very simple – But the execution is brilliant. Few kinds of mushrooms in a quality olive oil, garlic and parsley were really enough to create a delicious starter. A shrimp and zucchini starter continued a very clean Italian line of tasty starters. It was rather the Beef Carpaccio that hid behind a blue cheese and walnut that didn’t fit the dish, which was a shame.

Shrimps Zucchini

Shrimps Zucchini

Simplicity ruled the main courses as well. The Rib Eye Steak was a simple very fine piece of beef. Classic dish of Cream & Mushroom Pappardelle (though has an 80’s name) was, well, simple and gentle and comforting. Two dishes of Spaghettini, one with a tomatoes and (too much) basil and the other black pasta and seafood weren’t bad at all but did not stand out because of the pasta itself. A Pork Ossobuco on the other hand was very special and felt as it was cooked for a night with close eye from an Italian grandma – it was really special.

Tomatoes and Basil Spaghettini

Tomatoes and Basil Spaghettini

Osso Bucco

Osso Bucco

Classic courses ruled the desserts as well. Apple tart, gigantic Tiramisu and a special with mascarpone cheese, mango and passion fruit ended a fun, classic dinner.

Vanilla Cookie

Vanilla Cookie

The Check Please (10 people)


San Pellegrino – 25 NIS
Water – 24 NIS
Alexander Beer – 28 NIS
Coke X3 – 39 NIS
7UP – 13 NIS
Corkage – 45 NIS
Focaccia X2 – 28 NIS
Shrimps & Zucchini X2 – 96 NIS
Beef Carpaccio X3 – 174 NIS
Fried Artichokes – 36 NIS
Assorted Mushrooms – 46 NIS
Kohlrabi Salad – 44 NIS
Lettuce Salad – 38 NIS
Cream & Mushroom Pappardelle X2 – 112 NIS
Tomatoes Spaghetti – 56 NIS
Black Seafood Spaghetini X2 – 176 NIS
Seabass Fillet – 118 NIS
Pork Ossobuco – 98 NIS
Rib Eye Steak – 140 NIS
Strawberries & Mascarpone – 44 NIS
Vanilla Short Bread – 36 NIS
Tiramisu – 44 NIS
Chocolate Mousse – 36 NIS
Apple Tart X2 – 38 NIS
Vanilla Ice cream – 9 NIS

All in all: 1591 NIS

 

Summary

Food: Italian Bistro
Price: Expensive
Location: Yigal Alon

The Cizer Kobrinsky Scale

4 Forks

4 Forks

 

Contact details: Café Italia

Address: 6 Kreminitzki st. Tel Aviv | Phone: 03512888

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Spontaneous Dinner: Cena

29 Mar

Update July 2013: The place is closed.

Thursday night; again in the last minute we decide we want to go out. Tali and Elan are joining us, they too want to take a break from work; We are thinking what will be the best option between the few places that still have available tables for 30 minutes from now; The selected place – CENA.

Artichoke and Asparagus

Artichoke and Asparagus

CENA has opened lately in a very challenging spot: Montefiore Street – New kid on the block of Hotel Montefiore, Yavna Montefiore, Montefiore 7 and Wine Bar (At least they didn’t use the “Montefiore” in their name). As such, we have expected a lot from the new place.

Calamari a la plancha  stuffed with sweet potatoes cream

Calamari a la plancha stuffed with sweet potatoes cream

The starters were promising – Tali and Elan shared Artichoke and Asparagus that were served on roots and parmesan cream. As a big fan of Artichokes, Elan has definitely approved it as a quality dish. We took Calamari a la plancha that was stuffed with sweet potatoes cream and was also very tasty (though a little small).

Goose Drumstick in Oranges Sauce

Goose Drumstick in Oranges Sauce

For main courses each of us took one – Tali ordered the Goose Drumstick in Oranges Sauce served with potato and parmesan gratin. Tali found the dish tasty but too small as she felt she is still hungry after finishing the dish.  Elan took the Beef Burger and goose breast; the waitress promised extra smooth burger thanks to the goose, nevertheless Elan didn’t find this burger very different from the usual burgers.

Beef Burger and goose breast

Beef Burger and goose breast

Shahar took Provencal fish that was served with baked vegetables. The fish was nice but did not win our “value for money” price. Inbar took the Zopa di Mara, Italian seafood soup that was recommended by the waitress and was one big disappointment.

Provencal fish

Provencal fish

Zopa di Mara

Zopa di Mara

The highlight of the dinner was discovered at the dessert stage. Tali and Elan shared Apple Crumble; while we shared Panna Cotta – although both of them sound pretty “regular” desserts – we were surprised from the original interpretation they got at CENA.

Panna Cotta

Panna Cotta

At the end of the dinner, while trying to understand what we think about the place, we realized that unfortunately, we don’t think Cena will be a target on the next time we search for a place to eat on Thursday night (or on every other night).

The Check Please (4 People)

2 X Big Pellegrino – 50NIS
Calamari – 52NIS
Artichoke and Asparagus – 42NIS
Provencal Fish – 98NIS
Beef Burger – 65NIS
Zopa di Mara – 60NIS
Goose Drumstick  – 82NIS
Sira Flam – 155NIS
Diet Coke – 11NIS
Panna cota- 32NIS
Apple Crumble – 36NIS

All in all: 683 NIS

Summary:

Food: Bistro
Price: Expensive
Location: Montefiore Street

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale: 

3 Forks

Contact Details

42 Montefiore street, Tel Aviv | 9424640–057|
Monday-Friday 18:00-late | Saturday 12:00-17:00 | http://www.rest.co.il/sites/Default.asp?txtRestID=12507

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)

Social Justice – The Mizlala (Eatery)

9 Sep
The summer of 2011 will (hopefully) be remembered for the uncompromising fight of the middle class in Israel against the economic policy of Prime Minister Netanyahu, that caused Israel to have almost the biggest gaps between the rich and the poor in the western world. The people of Israel demand social justice.

Adoni in Action

The Summer of 2011 will also be remembered as the summer in which Meir Adoni opened the Mizlala – his middle-class restaurant. Adoni, well recognized and appreciated chef had become famous after cooking at the top fine-dining restaurants in Israel (Including Catit).

Peanut & Salt on the Bar

When Adoni opened this restaurant he stated that he aims to get to the young middle-calss crowd in Israel serving good food in reasonable prices. When we arrived to the restaurant we have realized we were the only couple that fits his measures.
As a place that suppose to act as an eatery (Mizlala), one would expect to encounter a loud and dense place with a chaotic atmosphere. Nevertheless, the design of the Mizalal is quite “clean” and sterile. Eatery with a high level design. To our surprise, Adoni was standing right behind the bar constructing our dishes.

Palestinian Tartar

We started with Palestinian tartar – if this is the meat you can get in Gaza, we can’t wait to have peace… Chopped rump beef, Tehini, Pine nuts, Yogurt, Burned eggplant paste & Cumin (just too much of it).  Great twist on the traditional tartar that usually comes with a French scent.

Mullet Ceviche

We continued with another starter (Although the menu is not divided to entrees and main courses) – Ceviche of Mullet fish that was served on top of some kind of Asian salad. This dish was good but had resembled to too many other dishes we have eaten in the past in restaurants such as the Thai House and The Officers Club.

Seared Chicen Liver

For main course we have shared (not too big of a dish) the Seared Chicken Liver that was served on top of Polenta, Forest Mushrooms & Asparagus. This dish was amazing and we felt as if it was melting in our mouth.

Vanilla Brulee

For desert, we took Vanilla Brulee that had nothing to do with Brulee. It was a thick layer of Vanilla that was topped (and not burned) with a layer apricot that was topped with layer of Crumble. This layer was also topped – with a scoop of berries ice-cream – Too Much!! when the bartender asked us if we enjoy the dish we had to answer that this was the least good dish in that dinner. The bartender replied that this is Adoni’s interpretation to the Creme Brulee -we thought he was too creative.

Summarizing this experience we were a bit confused. It was (mostly) a good meal in a (sort of) reasonable price, nevertheless we could not identify the middle class people among the crowd. So where is the social justice?

The Check Please (2 people)
2 X Gewurztraminer – 72 NIS
Palestinian tartar – 55 NIS
Mullet Ceviche – 63 NIS
Seared Chicen Liver – 53 NIS
Vanilla Brulee – 41 NIS

All in all: 284 NIS

Summary
Food: Israeli Chef Restaurant
Price: Medium-Expensive
Location: Nachlat Binyamin

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale

4 Forks

Contact Details: Mizlala
Address: 57 Nachlat Binyamin st, Tel Aviv | Phone: 03 5505 566
Opening Hours:  Sunday – Saturday 19:00-01:00
http://www.mizlala.co.il

Business Class – The Social Club

5 Aug

There are very few places in Tel Aviv that are better located than the Social club. During the day, the small plaza between Rothschild and Ahad Ha’am is packed with the Tel Aviv stock exchange employees doing their business just a few stories above and lawyers who fill the law firms around the area. During the night, Rothschild is getting filled with a young, hip crowd. The combination is truly reflected on the restaurant which attracts both the tie-wearing business men and the who’s-and-whose of Tel Aviv’s night.

The Social Club

At first sight you can definitely appreciate the setting of the Social club – a fancy bistro atmosphere, dominated by dramatic black colors. Having a large bar and high tables on the outside, you can almost feel you are high-stake business man in NY city rather than in the hot and humid Tel Aviv.

After given a series of recommendations about the place, we decided to celebrate Inbar’s birthday at the Social Club, right after a (strongly recommended) Segway trip on the beautiful Jaffa port and right before an Efrat Gosh performance in Hertzliya.

Sea Fish Carpaccio

We started off with glasses of wine, to celebrate properly.  The fresh garden salad we took was just as the name suggested. Fresh lettuce, red onions and Parmesan cheese came together as a good salad but nothing special. On the other hand, Sea fish Carpaccio with radish, red peppers, mint and olive oil was very good.

Garden Salad

Next came the main courses; Hanger Steak (from the day specials) was the best we ever had. A prime cut, cooked perfectly on the grill, served with a bone marrow delight and wonderful mashed potatoes truly elated us. Another main course was Seafood Pasta containing Perciatelli pasta, Mussels, Shrimps & Calamari in a white wine, lemon and garlic sauce. Unfortunately, the pasta did not keep the same level and, although not bad at all, it was quite dull.

Hanger Steak

Seafood Pasta

Such a celebration must have a sweet ending, so we also grabbed a New York cream Cheesecake with Raspberries that was wonderful, huge and well suited the place.

New York Cheescake

Summarizing the Social Club, we were quite ambiguous. The Hanger Steak alone worth five stars, but one cannot ignore the other courses which did not meet this level and the expensive prices. We will come back as other courses really do intrigue us, but we will need another special occasion for that.

The check please (2 people)

Gewurztraminer by the glass – 35 NIS
Melbec Alamos by the glass – 35 NIS
Fresh Salad – 44 NIS
Sea Fish Carpaccio – 64 NIS
Toscan Seafood Pasta – 88 NIS
Hanger Steak – 120 NIS
Large Mineral Water – 24 NIS
NY Raspberry Cheesecake – 36 NIS
Espresso – 9 NIS

All in all: 455 NIS

Summary:

Food: New York Bistro
Price: Expensive
Location: Rotchield / Ahad Ha’am

 The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale: 

4 Forks

Contact details: The Social Club

Address:  45 Rothschild, Tel Aviv | Phone: 03-5601114 |
Opening Hours:  Monday-Sunday 12:00 – 01:00
http://www.rest.co.il/sites/default.asp?txtRestID=10779&txtNavID=3&txtItemID=552917

Morning at the Bistro – Café Noir

20 May

Tel Aviv Breakfast scene is one tough scene. Every restaurant wants to have its own breakfast, making sure it earns its shekels throughout the day. Unfortunately it causes many of them to offer a dull breakfast (Omelet-Salad- Spreads) at a high price. We urge you to have breakfast at a restaurant you got a good review on. An example of such a review is right below – at Café Noir.

Café noir is a long-established Tel Aviv Bistro; very well located at the heart of the white city with the vibrant Rotshield Street just a few steps away. Having been there a few times in the past, we recommend Café Noir generally because of its good food (the well known milk-fed Veal Schnitzel is a must) and romantic atmosphere, but this time we decided to check their breakfast.

Scrambled Eggs with Bacon, Cheese & Salami

Café Noir breakfast menu is divided to three –Sandwiches, Set Breakfasts and Pastries. Both of us took set breakfasts. Shahar ordered the Noir’s Breakfast – scrambled eggs (you can ask any type of eggs) with Bacon, two types of cheese, Salami Milano, vegetable salad, roasted peppers, bread, jam and butter. The eggs were fine and the Salami was excellent, but it was the bread that was rated best as it was hot, crispy and delicious.

Egg Cocot

Inbar ordered the Egg Cocot Breakfast – two eggs with Truffles oil and crispy bacon, served inside a ceramic bowl, alongside with roasted peppers, Cream cheese, vegetables salad and again – bread, jam and butter. The dish expresses the uniqueness of Café Noir with its breakfasts and delivers exceptionally. The Truffles oil specifically makes the dish a true morning favorite.

The check please (2 people)

Noir’s Breakfast (with Bacon) – 58 NIS
Eggs Cocot Breakfast – 58 NIS

All in all: 116 NIS

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale: 

4 Forks

Summary:

Food:  Bistro
Price:  Expensive
Location: Ahad Ha’am

Contact details: Café Noir
Address:  43 Ahad Ha’am St, Tel Aviv | 03-5663018|
Opening Hours:  Sun-Wed 08:00-01:00 Thu-Frid 08:00-02:00 Sat 09:00-01:00 |
http://cafnoir.rest-e.co.il/

Cognitive Dissonance – Edna

15 Feb

July 2012 Update: The place have closed its doors. They still have the Ramat HaSharon branch. 

It was a rainy night in the middle of the week and we were hungry, tired & looking for something not too fancy. Shahar had just remembered that the successful Ramat Hasharon restaurant named Edna had recently opened a new branch in Tel Aviv. Edna, a 30 year old restaurant, was originally a workers restaurant that served Persian food. Over the years it has been influenced by European food and today it is a combination of “homemade” and European cuisine – a combination that creates a cognitive dissonance at times. The place is designed in a very classic-European style, taking care of all the little details like table cloths and stylish menus.

Edna Specials

We started off with a Mediterranean Salad that was basically a chopped vegetable salad and was fresh and tasty. Alongside it we ordered bread that came right out of the over and was steamy hot. It was served with pickled eggplant that acted as a fabulous dip.

Bread & Eggplants on White Cloth

For the main courses Shahar took beef & lamb meatballs that were served in beef broth with carrots. The meatballs were good and the broth was excellent, especially as another dip for the bread. Inbar chose a fan of fillet of beef. It was nice piece of meat that was served with red wine sauce and accompanied with baked potatoes, sweet potatoes & spinach. The fillet was a cooked just right and the sides were excellent. Together it made a good fulfilling dish.

Cognitive Dissonance (Main Courses)

The meatballs we ate, took the “Homemade” part of the restaurant, while the fillet of beef took the “European” part. The combination was quite weird and left us with some question marks regarding the character of the place. Despite of the dissonance, we agreed that Edna is a place that knows how to cook some good food. It does not fall from the quality of the original place in Ramat Ha’Sharon in any way and has a great value for money.

The check please (2 people)

Homemade bread – 12 NIS
Mediterranean Salad – 39NIS
Beef & lamb meatballs – 45NIS
Fan of fillet of beef – 74NIS
Soda – 11NIS
Pepsi -11NIS

All in all: 191NIS

Value for Money:

Summary:

Food:  Homemade / Persian / Classic European
Price:  Medium
Location: North Dizngoff / Yirmiahu

Contact details: Edna
Address:  52 Yirmiahu St., Tel Aviv | Phone: 03-6289000 |
Opening Hours:  Sunday- Thursday – 10:00-01:00 | Friday 09:00-01:00 | Saturdays 12:00-01:00
http://www.edna-rest.co.il/ednata (No English menu)

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