Tag Archives: Steaks

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

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Mix and don’t match – The Dining Hall

1 Jun

When you dine at a “chef” restaurant you can expect nothing but the best. Yes, although Omer Miller, the chef of “The Dining Hall” (as well as “The Table” – someone ran out of names), became more famous of his TV appearances than of its restaurants, The Dining Hall is still considered a chef restaurant and should be judges as such. Miller is doing a lot of mix & match and, most of the time, it is simply confusing.

As the site describes, Miller “uses local products”, together with “Mediterranean and European kitchen techniques” includes “well known dishes”, “familiar from home”, “modern, minimal and innovative”. Did your head spin already? Mine have. So yes, Miller actually tries to bring his interpretation of a classic homemade Israeli kitchen. But no, it is hardly enough for a chef restaurant taking these prices.

The Dining Hall Salad

The Dining Hall Salad

Take the Dining Hall Salad for example. Though the fancy serving along with separate boiled egg on the side, the salad was mediocre and had nothing over a regular chopped vegetable salad done at home. The “familiar from home” was way better when it came to the famous chopped liver starter. The dish did make the place famous with real justice as it is a real thick tasteful liver and the fried onions are a great fit to it.

The entrées did not bring any “innovative” part or any special “technique”. We rather picked two meat dishes that we did expect to raise the level of the dinner. The two main courses – 200 gr. Fillet Mignon with Marrow, Potatoes, Carrots and Demi glaze as well as 300 gr. Entrecote with Sweet Potato – were served the same – on top of a cutting board, and were somewhat boring.

Entrecote

Entrecote

On top of that, the Fillet dish was served cold (after the waitress forgot we asked for a different side). When told, it seemed the fillet was re-heated in the microwave, which kind of ruined it for us.
Overall both pieces of beef were not bad, and the roasted vegetables were nice, but we didn’t feel moved at all as you would expect.

When you are planning on spending over 350 NIS for a dinner out you do want to have something special. Though The Dinning Hall food is not bad at all it is not reaching its pricing level nor to its fancy website descriptions. We’ll just consider it as an OK place with a very high price.

The check please (2 people)

The Dining Hall Salad – 32 NIS
Chopped Liver – 32 NIS
200 gr. Filet Mignon – 128 NIS
300 gr. Entrecote – 138 NIS
Coke – 12 NIS
Soda Water – 10 NIS

All in all: 352 NIS

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

2.5 Forks

2.5 Forks

Summary:

Food:  Classic Israeli
Price:  Expensive
Location: Shaul Hamelech

Contact details: The Dining Hall
Address:  23 Shaul Hamelech St, Tel Aviv | 0579443036|
Opening Hours:  Sun-Sat 12:00-00:00 |
http://thedininghall.rest-e.co.il/

Fine Beef Alabama

10 Jan

Couple of years ago a rumor about a weird beef restaurant came to my ears. The word was that somewhere in the old industrial zone of Natanya, in some warehouse, lays a new restaurant where they serve nothing but beef. Not drinks, no sides, no starters. Beef. Now ain’t that intriguing. After some time, and after hearing more and more about the place, I found just the time to check it out, inviting few of my friends to a dinner at Alabama.

The Charcoal Meat Smoker

Please don’t expect to find any Alabama cuisine in the restaurant; though do expect a huge charcoal meat smoker, and an atmosphere that will make you feel really welcomed. The fact that you bring your own booze (and light drinks) actually emphasizes the homely feeling even more.

Arriving to Alabama, you are informed about today’s cuts. You can order a la carte, but you better get the fixed priced menu as there are few paths to follow from 120 to 160 NIS.  It will depend on how hungry are you and which cuts would you like to receive. A nice thing is that you can decide that as you go.

Unlike the rumors, we did get some starters – a descent vegetables salad, pickled cabbage and peas and beef stew. We can’t write much about either of these as we came with a goal and couldn’t let the starters interfere with it.

First Make us Happy

First Make us Happy

After few shots that made us happy, we were served with Beef Thin ribs. The cut, which is not usually considered as one of the best, was the best of its kind we ever tasted. The smoker flattered the beef in a way I haven’t tasted before, not to mention the (smoked) potatoes that came along with it. What a fine way to start the dinner.

Beef Thin Ribs

Beef Thin Ribs

Next came a Sirloin Steak that, like all other courses, came alone without any sauce. This actually shows a lot of courage from a place that is really confident with its meat quality. Though I thought the Sirloin was the weakest cut, it was still pretty good. The Hanger steak brought back the bar just near “Excellent”, as the smoker left it tastes really well on the meat crust.

Sirloin Steak

Sirloin Steak

Hanger Steak

Hanger Steak

The last two cuts that raised the fixed-menu to its higher level were easily worth it. The Pork Rib was so tender and didn’t feel dry at any point and the Fillet with Foie Gras was quite decadent food, and tasted great (event though the Fillet is not the most suited cut to a smoker).

Fillet and Foie Gras

Fillet and Foie Gras

Though the desserts were pretty weak and blend, we didn’t mind, it might be because we were a little drunk by then, but most probably because we came for the meat, and it was really, really good.

The Dessert

The Desserts

The Check Please (lots of people)

 

Tastings menu – 120-160 NIS PP (include starters)

 

Summary

Food: Steaks. Just Steaks

Price: Medium
Location: Natanya

The Cizer Kobrinsky Scale

4 Forks

4 Forks


 

Contact details: Alabama

Address: 47 Pinkas st. Natanya | Phone: 0544557287

The Jaffa Escape – Yona

9 Apr

Some things seem simply inevitable. The sun will rise up in the morning; Messi will score in the next Barca match; A new restaurant with a lot of buzz, a predictable name and a perfect location will succeed. At least it was our assumption when we headed at another Thursday night to the new hot name at the vibrant Jaffa Port area – Yona (or Jonah).

Yona

Yona

Yona’s atmosphere is pretty cool. The combination between wooden furniture, high ceiling and the open kitchen creates a setting which you can’t ignore – some kind of urban-yet-welcoming feeling. Even though, we felt it a bit too processed and trying too hard to impress. But hey – it wasn’t as bad as the food.

Taboun Grilled Tomato salad & Haloumi Terracota

Taboun Grilled Tomato salad & Haloumi Terracota

The starter we took was at least an attempt to create an original dish. The tomato salad Terracota and melting Halloumi cheese (cooked in the Taboun) isn’t something you’d normally see in a restaurant’s menu, but it lacked any real soul in it. The tomato salad was nothing more than a few chopped tomatoes without any kicking flavor. Too bad for the Halloumi, which definitely saw some better dishes next to it.

Bouillabaisse soup

Bouillabaisse soup

The two main courses we took were a different story altogether – some kind of a horror story. Bouillabaisse soup is one of our all-time favorite sea food dishes. When the chef knows what he is doing, it can be marvelous (we recommend the neighboring Container for this one).  Unfortunately this one was lousy. The soup was served separated from the seafood (why? It is best to cook them together), which made the soup itself simply tasteless. The mediocre fish, as well as the mussels and the shrimps seemed as they don’t understand what had been poured on them as Inbar combined the two.

Hanger Steak Medallions

Hanger Steak Medallions

The other main course could have been a rescue for the dinner. The Hanger Steak medallions we ordered felt they had taken care of by someone who understands how to pick beef. Unfortunately, the dish, served along some tired Chard leaves, was simply cold. After asking for another round of heating for the beef we got it again. Cold. At this point there was no hope for the beef after taken out twice out of the pan. While waiting for it, at least we had some very successful oven potatoes that kept us from starving.

Oven Baked Potatoes - Kept us from starving

Oven Baked Potatoes - Kept us from starving

After that experience, we have decided we will act as the Hebrew prophet and flee outside to the beautiful Jaffa Port. Though it seems the restaurant is a success in terms of occupancy, it should definitely have deep thoughts about its chefs.

The Check Please (2 people)

Taboun Grilled Tomato salad & Haloumi Terracota – 32 NIS
Bouillabaisse soup – 99 NIS
Hanger Steak Medallions – 79 NIS
Oven Baked Potatoes – 14 NIS
Guinness 1/3 lt – 22 NIS
Weinsteffen 1/3 lt – 22 NIS
Perrier – 8 NIS

All in all: 276 NIS

Summary:

Food: Seafood & Taboun grilled food
Price: Medium-Expensive
Location: Jaffa Port

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

1.5 Forks

Contact Details: Yona (Jonah)
Address:  Hangar 1, Jaffa Port, Jaffa| Phone: 03-7742222 |
Daily 12:00-24:00
http://www.yona.be/en/

Adjusting Expectations – Doris Katzavim (Butchers)

22 Mar

About four years ago, I was travelling up north when I started to look for something descent to eat. In general, the restaurants around Rosh-Pina do not offer something exceptional. Even though around the town entrance, right behind the gas station I found Doris Katzavim (Doris Butchers). The Beef displayed raw in front of the diners really aroused and the steaks were simply amazing.

The Beef display

The Beef display

Few years have gone by, and “Doris” has made a name for itself as one of the best steakhouses, opening two more steakhouses – In Tel Aviv and Zichron Yaakov. The Tel Aviv branch has recently closed its doors so when travelled with family up north for Mom’s birthday, Doris at Zichron was an obvious pick.

Doris is a steakhouse offering local Beef from the Golan Heights, which definitely has quality. According to some reviews it seems that the glory that it has back then, has quite crumbled. That was a chance to check it out.

The appetizers

The appetizers

With eight people sitting around the table (plus a baby), it is not that simple to serve easily nor with a constant smile upon your face but I think the Doris team managed to pull it off. The service was good and attentive to our needs. Even though, it is a shame that the appetizers were simply bad.

Beef Carpaccio

Beef Carpaccio

Yes, I do know this is a steakhouse and we all come there to eat some dead cows, but the appetizers, which included Eggplant with Tehini, Chickpeas, Egg salad, Cauliflower, Beets and Sweet Potato, were quite embarrassing and tasted as they were taken out of a tin can. The other starters, which included vegetables salad, Wheat groats Salad and Beef Carpaccio were much better (especially the Beef Carpaccio).

Fillets of Beef

Fillets of Beef

Most of us took steaks for main course. There were few Fillets of Beef, a T-Bone Steak, a Lamb Burger and I took the Hanger Steak (which some say is the ultimate test for a quality Steakhouse). One can’t argue that all the steaks were good. They felt as quality, fresh and tender. Even though, most of the faces around the table looked disappointed. At these prices, at that restaurant, you would expect to have one of the best steaks you ever had. It wasn’t the case – not even close.

Hanger Steak

Hanger Steak

The side dishes – Onion cakes, over Potatoes and grilled vegetables – were quite nice, so as the sweets – a classic and tasty crème Brule, an Apple Crumble and an excellent Kanafe (though not as good as  the one in Kalamate).

Kanafe

Kanafe

Summarizing Doris I would state that it is an expensive Steakhouse with some good steaks, but unfortunately, not exceptional relatively to other places (up north or in Tel Aviv).

The Check Please (8 people) – Highlights

Beef Carpaccio – 59 NIS
Mezze Plate – 59 NIS
Wheat Groats Salad – 25 NIS
T-Bone Steak (400 gr) – 129 NIS
Fillet of Beef (250 gr) – 137 NIS
Hanger Steak (250 gr) – 137 NIS
Crème Brule / Kanafe – 30 NIS each

All in all – 1490 NIS

Summary:

Food: Steakhouse
Price: Very Expensive
Location: Zichron Yaakov

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

3 Forks

Contact Details: Doris Katzavim
Address:  near Baron Gardens, Zichron Yaakov| Phone: 04-6397030 |
Sun-Thu 12:00-23:00 Fri-Sat 12:00 – Late
http://doris-k.co.il/ (no English)

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/

Birthday Present – NG

19 Nov

Green Hill

For a long while Shahar has been dreaming about a good steak dinner at one of the famous steak restaurants in town. His birthday was a good opportunity for me to fulfill his wishes while investigating Neve Tzedek as tourists.

Beef Porterhouse - Before

We started the birthday celebration at G&D Luxury Suites, an old building that was converted to luxury suites. After we unpacked our suitcase, we took a walking tour in Neve Tzedek, looking at the antique buildings and enjoyed the boutique stores.  In the evening, we went outside our room and jumped into NG – the restaurant was literally “across the street”.

Beef Porterhouse - After

We started off with “Green Hill” – salad of chopped herbs with Shrimps and walnut in vinaigrette, a fresh and light dish that left us the exact amount of place we needed for the dinner highlight – 1 KG of Beef Porterhouse, about half of it tenderloin and half strip steak to share, an amazing piece of beef that was cooked to the right point. The beef was served with mashed potatoes, sweet potato chips and spinach.

Chestnut pie - Not the best we had

For dessert we took Chestnut pie with a scope of pistachio ice cream, which was a nice dish but one we could definitely skip.

All in all NG is a place almost perfect at what it does – Beef, while Neve Tzedek experience is perfect at what it supply – a romantic atmosphere.

The Check Please (2 people)

Green Hill – 48NIS
1KG Porterhouse – 270NIS
2X Zinfandel (by the glass) – 56NIS
Soda water – 11NIS
Chestnut pie with Pistachio ice cream – 41NIS
2X Espresso – 18NIS

All in all: 444 NIS

Summary:

Food: Steak House
Price: Expensive
Location: Neve Tzedek

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

4 Forks

Contact Details: NG

Address:  6 Ahad Haam, Neve Tzedek, Tel Aviv | Phone: 03-5167888
Opening Hours:  Sunday – Thursday 18:00-01:00 http://www.ngrestaurant.co.il/english/index.html

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