I was back in Tel Aviv for work and boy did we eat well. Everything in Tel Aviv today feels very very fresh and new and modern. But I suppose that is mainly due to all the good advice I received in planning our meals. Here’s where we ate, with my brief thoughts on each.
Regina, Hatachana, The Station (Building 10) Neve Tzedek, Tel Aviv. This was a kosher meal in a lovely old converted train station. Really, you can’t beat the atmosphere. The buildings were Arabian in style with small rooms opening up to a spacious courtyard. The food was good, not great, although I did enjoy the babaganoush. The service was sweet, but slow. I’d go back for the atmosphere and if I had a kosher constraint. Beware the mosquitoes though…they did a job on my ankles during dinner.
L’Entrecote, Achad Ha’am 28, on the corner of Nachlat Binyamin. This is a bustling little cafe, quite close to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. We stopped in here for a large group lunch, and while the food reminded me of business class food on an airplane, it was like Singapore Airlines good. I had some sort of stuffed chicken, along with mashed potatoes. The service here is what really made the place stand out. Very friendly and casual, in that American way that I know some people dislike, but I find oddly charming. I’d go back if I had a kosher constraint.
Rustico, Rothschild 15. Totally random. We were going to go to a place in Camel Market, but my colleagues saw “brains on toast” on the menu and refused to go any further. So our friendly Arab-Israeli taxi driver took us to Rustico. Totally packed on whatever night we were there, we were granted a table for an hour. “We’re American,” I said “We eat fast.” (We weren’t all American. I totally lied.) We scooped up satisfying bowls of spinach ravioli, paid our tab, and were gone. I liked it here–nice lighting, nice buzz, nice service, great food. I would go back.
Mizlala, 57 Nachalat Binyamin. One of @zoharwine’s recommendations. I had the ravioli here too. Yes, ravioli two nights in a row, and it was totally worth it. I liked the buzz and the clean lines of the place. Service was a bit off, but they were totally packed and we had the misfortune to be sitting next to a very large party. I’d go back here.
Raphael, The Dan Hotel, 87 Ha’yarkon St. Another @zoharwine recommendation. Raphael is located in one of Tel Aviv’s grande dame hotels, right on the beach. It was a shame that we visited so late at night because we couldn’t see the sea at all. My ceviche was luscious and doused with just the right amount of lime. Raphael is a buzzing place, with a nice looking bar next door. The crowd seemed of the wealthier sort, whereas Mizlala and Rustico stood out for attracting a more mixed crowd. I really liked the food at Raphael, but maybe the atmosphere was a bit too stiff for me. I would save this for a special occasion.
Well, that’s all I’ve got for you. Hope it’s enough. Sorry…the longer I write this blog, the shorter my posts…