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The gastronomic restaurant of Hotel Dan Tel-Aviv, 99 Hayarkon is small with a few attractively set tables, elegant dishware, a romantic atmosphere, soft lighting and very attentive service. A basket of different kinds of warm, crispy bread is quickly brought to the table, followed by a tuna tataki amuse bouche. The artichoke tortellini are served on a bed of crushed tomato, the stuffing is light and goes well with the rest of the dish including the oregano leaves which add a refreshing flavor. The lamb shishlik (5 pieces) is served simply along with perfectly cooked roasted cauliflower. The strawberry mousse with tapioca is rich and deliciously sweet with several unexpected ingredients. We like this restaurant for its atmosphere recalling another time, excellent service, and short menu featuring classic traditional dishes.
North Abraxas likes breaking with tradition. For a start there are no plates. Instead the food is served on paper tablecloths. The kitchen is anything but quiet. The chef and his team shout, laugh and sing to the music in the background sometimes managing to drown out the soundtrack ! However, there is one rule here : the restaurant is devoted to surprising and delighting its clients. And North Abraxas does just that. Starting with the astonishing cocktails all imagined by Chef Eyal Shani. But this is only the beginning. Then try and guess what is the unique flavor of the sweet potato or green bean salad, sardine pizza or hamburger. For each of these « classics », the quality of the ingredients is highlighted by the perfect cooking and seasoning. The seeming simplicity of the food encourages eating with your fingers. And to accompany this addictive food, the excellent wine list features the finest Israeli wines. It would be a mistake to think that originality is the only thing that distinguishes North Abraxas from other Tel Aviv restaurants. Above all what makes this place so special is the incredible food that makes you want to come back again and again for more.
Dallal is like the wonderful NeveTsedek neighborhood with lots of charm, a slightly old-fashioned romantic atmosphere, and a ravishing patio fragrant with jasmine. You are guaranteed a change of scenery just a few steps away from the hustle and bustle of Tel Aviv. Inside, there are different areas with distinctive vibes: lounge style or high tables under the greenhouse, placed in front of a magnificent very elegant bar, which pleasantly livens up the room. The menu is Mediterranean inspired with a personal touch that adds character to the classic dishes. For example, the roasted artichokes (cooked properly) are served with chimichurri for a bit of pizazz. The cannelloni are stuffed with Jerusalem artichokes and white truffle making a creamy, mild dish, with a touch of tartness provided by the fragrant tomato and basil sauce. The shawarma is done with fish , fragrant with sumac and coriander on a hummus cream, middle eastern style. End the meal with a very refreshing not overly sweet strawberry and pistachio dessert, with lovely fruit flavors and a delicate sorbet. And don’t miss their tasty bread, which comes straight from the bakery next door.
The smallest establishment of the now small « empire » of the Doktor brothers, Dok holds the course with an exclusive focus on using local products from Israel. You come here for the certain sophistication of the food, and the genuine creativity, even when it comes to classic dishes such as sashimi, worked every season with fruit and vegetables, or the dumplings, stuffed with an excellent local cheese. When you eat at Dok’s, the “Israeli in you” is overjoyed and everyone leaves proud to have tasted the best the country can offer. At the same time, you find the tastes you are likely to encounter at an Israeli family dinner, and old flavors such as the apricot compote which recalls little Tel-Aviv and your childhood home. And to take the nostalgia to the next level, it is served with a yogurt ice cream for a very simple, but clever combination. The Dok brothers are growing, but they have not neglected their first place which serves very good, local and seasonal products along with an excellent selection of Israeli wines.
Fifi, a small, sparkling colorful restaurant in the Levinsky neighborhood, is like a box of delightful surprises. While it identifies as Asian, Fifi has a special talent for breaking away from culinary borders. The evening we ate there, the chef offered an Asian version of Mexican cuisine that blends her love of Far Eastern and especially Vietnamese spices with classic Mexican dishes such as quesadillas or slow cooked pork. The dishes are always flavorful and intensely colorful while the Margaritas are lovingly prepared. In everything they do, Fifi is unusually creative, while using consistently high quality products. Drop by: you might have to wait on line but it is definitely worth the wait.
Hasalon is open only two nights a week and you have to reserve long ahead of time. Indeed Chef Eyal Shani who has made this place nearly a private event continues to be as successful as ever. The open kitchen encourages communication with the clientele. And everything here contributes to the festive atmosphere including the loud music, joyful, dynamic staff, endless quantities of alcohol, and naturally the dishes ideal for sharing. Here you are likely to be a bit surprised by a banal green salad seasoned just right with the perfect degree of tartness, overjoyed by the creamy light sauce on pasta with zucchini, or impressed by a perfectly cut and exquisitely fresh tuna sashimi. The roasted grouper is seasoned with charred still incandescent sage, the tuna steak is juicy and tender, the excellent quality lamb is perfectly pink, and they have not forgotten that some people enjoy eating the fat which has not been trimmed from the chop. The menu plays on sensory experience, and theatrical service and cuisine but fundamentally what is of essence here is beautiful, very good food.
Very close to bustling downtown Tel-Aviv, heading North, Tzuk Farm has quite a lot going for it. Above all the Chef uses locally sourced products based on a genuine farm-to-table concept. Olive oil, cheese, seasonal vegetables, even the grass-fed beef come from a farm that supplies the restaurant. You can taste the freshness and quality of the ingredients right from the first bite : lasagna with lamb and vegetables and a tasty cheese sauce, vegetables which seem to have just been picked, discretely served with a touch of aioli, a perfectly seared, tender, juicy filet of beef, with a few crispy fries. The spirit of the place is also reflected in the friendly, calm service and in the simple, elegant setting. And to accompany the delicious food, there is a lovely selection of wines attractively presented on a huge wall shelf.
Jacko’s Street is located along Machane Yehuda, in a setting that is half-loft, half-bistro with a mezzanine; with its golden, ochre shades, contemporary décor and very subdued lighting, this place has style. The wine list is varied and obviously selected by an attentive wine sommelier. The personality of the chef can be felt in the Moroccan and Kurdish influenced Mediterranean cuisine. The eggplant carpaccio was missing the tempura date and the pistachios described on the menu however it was refreshing. The Moroccan cigars are crispy, very hot and generously sized, with a pleasant stuffing made from beef, chicken liver and kidneys, the flavor of which was similar to merguez and very tasty. The wood cooked pargit is ultra-tender and juicy. The Mibrasa aged beef rib is very clearly excellent quality, perfectly cooked and accompanied by delicious preserved garlic. Jacko’s Street is one of the new Chef’s concept places found throughout the Shuk. It is a very well managed restaurant especially in terms of timing, generous portions, and excellent quality meat.
OCD is halfway between Yaffo and Tel-Aviv, in the Noga neighborhood which marks the border between Neve Tsedek and Shuk Hapishpishim. We are welcomed very professionally while the setting is very low-key and designed to draw attention to the kitchen overlooking the bar. The talented Raz Rahav accompanies us for two and a half hours of a gastronomic journey with some fifteen courses that will all surprise you, inform you, because everything is described in detail, and above all, delight you. Our experience included macaron made from carrot powder which crunches then melts in your mouth, a tart the crust of which is made of peas, stuffed with peas, smoked wheat and lemon which crunches and explodes in your mouth, a filet of raw amberjack, firm and delicate, with white strawberries, fresh almonds and a delicious tomato water, roasted duck with a tart, very pleasant clementine glaze…The combinations are unexpected while the preparations are original, the dishes are very attractive and finished, and the quality is consistently excellent. Raz Rahav is driven by his unceasing curiosity and desire to invent new culinary delicacies. Raz Rahav stays the course.
Miznon serves up street food from Eyal Shani, one of the most popular chefs in Israel and now an internationally renowned household name. The simplest dish, which attracts people like a magnet is his famous whole roasted cauliflower, served in paper, with a delicious homemade tehina sauce. Also don’t miss the whole sweet potatoes, served in a paper cone. You have to delicately tear off a piece to appreciate their tender, sweetness. And be sure to eat slowly to make the most out of each mouthful. If you like contrasts, dip them in one of the sauces. The generous pita should be savored, while doing your best to take a bite at the right place without losing a drop of the meat-vegetable mixture. This is no-fuss, simple eating with no dishware. Your tasty order will be served in paper, another trend started by the trailblazer, Eyal Shani.
7 years after opening, PORT SAÏD is always full, night after night. After eight, it can be hard to find a table right away so be ready to sip a first drink on the side or seated on the steps in front as the restaurant does not take reservations. Whoever said that there is no recipe for success ? Eyal Shani seems to have found one. His concept ? Products, mainly vegetables, served up as simply as possible such as the nearly charred tender eggplant, large crunchy green beans with garlic and lemon, baked regular and sweet potatoes served with crème fraiche, oriental-style ratatouille (served with tehina, a hard boiled egg and pimento). Everything is perfectly fresh and distinctively flavored. Here creativity is anything but performance driven. Instead its all about simplicity and proper execution. The menu includes classic dishes such as bread salad, minute steak, or chicken sandwich as well as less immediately popular dishes such as frikeh, lima bean masabaha , or cabbage cake. And everything is delicious.
Try this place for both the cuisine and the atmosphere.
Magdalena is consistently excellent in terms of their cuisine, welcome, service and understated elegant decor. The interior setting is enchanting with a gorgeous view over lake Tiberiade. Settle in comfortably, enjoy a local wine, carefully selected by the wine chef, and let yourself be transported on the gastronomic journey offered by their tasting menu. The amchur tehina makes the very classic cauliflower into a modern, original starter. The fish carpaccio is stylishly presented with the croutons, endives, radish, and red onions forming a colored crown on the pink fish. The dumplings are stuffed with lamb and pine nuts and cooked in goat milk yogurt. All of the flavors are concentrated in each mouthful, to give a delicate, mild, creamy taste. The black sea risotto smells of the sea and the shrimps are excellent quality. The lamb with shallots is a good Mediterranean dish. The lovely meat is cooked perfectly, with good, concentrated, fragrant, tasty juice. If you feel like finishing on a sweet note we recommend the delicious pistachio malabi, imprisoned in two rolls of golden, crispy filo dough. Magdalena offers authentic Galilean cuisine, modernized by their talented chef without compromising on the essential.
You come to Herzl 16 first of all for the atmosphere. Attracting tourists from all over the world, it is just the right place to be if you are looking for the festive vibe so typical of Tel Aviv. The service is very professional and efficient. You can have a quick lunch or come for a drink in the evening along with Asian food, such as the melt in your mouth lamb-stuffed ban, delicately flavored with coriander, or the pork ribs with curry and honey. And why not finish the meal with the distinctively flavored miso chocolate mousse. If you prefer the bar to the restaurant, go for the finger food. Here you will find only happy people, and as the evening goes on, you just might be tempted to dance….
In a slightly run-down building in a street that is deserted in the evening, Beit Romano has managed to create a hub with a young, relaxed vibe and a deliberately “shabby chic” style. The menu includes a selection of sharing dishes which whenever possible are served on paper. Choices include the not to be missed invention of Chef Eyal Shani, the legendary roasted cauliflower, which looks easy to make but which requires real skill to achieve perfection, pasta with black pepper that does not aggress your palate, an ambitious shawarma fish and to finish a chocolate mousse served on gold cardboard. Beit Romano is a unique, informal place and an original way to get to know the Chef’s cuisine. It is a first stop in one of his many restaurants.