Tag Archives: tel aviv

Enjoying a wonderful lunch at Rendezvous in Neve Tzedek

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Rendezvous

The trend of kosher restaurants opening up in Tel Aviv is a marvelous thing. 10 years ago you were maybe able to find a kosher falafel stand or a very fancy gourmet restaurant. That isn’t the case today. Everywhere you turn, you can find somewhere kosher to eat, milk or meat.

captureThe trend has now hit the art-deco neighborhood of Neve Tzedek, in the city center, by the Shalom tower. The restaurant I visited (I was a guest) is called Rendezvous (Kosher Rabbanut Tel Aviv), an Italian restaurant, run by French chefs. The restaurant took over for the Italian House restaurant that has been there for a very long time and was not kosher.

img_20161222_134014When walking into the restaurant, you feel like you are taken back to your grandparents house; beige wallpapers, big mirror with big frames, old-fashioned couches a very comfortable environment. The wait staff was super nice and polite, and made me feel even more comfortable.

Onto the food. Since I was a guest(I wasn’t alone, I was with 3 other guests), I asked the host to bring out some really unique dishes that I won’t find in every dairy\Italian restaurant. For the appetizers, the chef sent out an endive salad, with a crostini with melted Camembert cheese, An eggplant cream dish topped with a tomato salsa and cornishons, and for something hot,  mushrooms sautéed in a cream sauce on a piece of toasted brioche. Let’s go one by one. The mushrooms blew me away! The cream sauce had a hint of truffle
img_20161222_141212oil in it and it just blew my mind and the brioche was perfect for mopping up the sauce. The eggplant cream dish was a nice dip, smoky and salty, the way a dish should be. The salad was very refreshing and very french with blue cheese hidden in the endive leaves, although the salad was nice, the crostini with the img_20161222_141332melted Camembert was my favorite part of the salad. Who doesn’t love  grilled cheese?

Then I brought a dish that was on the specials menu, a salmon sashimi with a side salad. It was a very delicate dish, very light and very good.

Then for the main course, the chef sent out, a truffle and img_20161222_141429porcini mushroom parpadelle, pizza tortofu, a red drum fish with mashed potatoes and a tomato salsa and one last dish of salmon fillet also served on a bed of mashed potatoes.

I’ll start with the pizza since it was very interesting. I wouldn’t have called it a pizza, it was more like a quesadilla because the dough was super thin and soft. The toppings were interesting too; asparagus, arugula, truffle oil, béchamel, Parmesan, and a runny egg. It wasn’t my favorite and could have used more cheese. Then I tried the parpadelle which was sadly missing seasoning and a img_20161222_141556-1mushroom flavor. The handmade pasta was very nice and al dente but the flavors in the sauce weren’t there. The fish dishes were on point. The red drum fish was cooked perfectly, flaky seasoned well and melted in my mouth. The same for the salmon, cooked to perfection, full of flavor, and a crispy skin for texture. The mashed potatoes were super creamy and full of flavor and weren’t runny at all.  We didn’t have dessert because we were already busting at the seams, but they looked delicious!

For a new restaurant, the food was very good, great service and a very nice ambiance. Rendezvous is a great addition to the beautiful Neve Tzedek neighborhood and to the kosher food world.

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Eating legit Turkish Shwarma in Tel Aviv: Turk Lachmaj’un

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Turk Lachmaj’un

20160731_123658WOW, when I left, Turk Lachmaj’un I was impressed. I mean it’s known that the two most common street foods in Israel are falafel and shwarma, but the way they do things at Turk Lachmaj’un really take it to the next level. I want to thank my friend Mitch Schnieder for introducing me to this place because I KNOW I’m going to head back there.

Turk Lachmaj’un (Kosher Rabbanute Tel Aviv) has been around for a while, and their standards have stayed the same since day 1. For those 20160731_121912of you who don’t know what a lachmaj’un is, (here comes the culinary tidbit) it’s a loaf of bread baked with any type of meat inside. The dish hails from Turkey, and has become a very popular dish in restaurants around Israel. Traditionally it’s baked with lamb, but those who can’t afford it will use beef or any other meat they fancy. Traditionally it’s served with techina, but you can enjoy it with any dip you like.

Now to the restaurant. I call it a restaurant because it really  is. You have an option to either eat a shwarma to go and have them wrap up 20160731_115844your meal in a laffa or lachmaj’un or to sit down and enjoy the full experience where they bring you salads to your table and you eat with a fork and knife. I chose the first option, and it was perfect! A little more about the restaurant, show up early or you will be waiting a long time to enjoy an amazing meal because the place is packed during the lunch rush. Most of the food is made in-house from the salads to the fries, I don’t know if the meat is prepared there but I know that each lachmaj’un is made in the stone oven that they hide in the corner. Now I need to break down the lacmaj’un process for you: They bake each lachmaj’un fresh to order. the lachmaj’un is prepared like this: they bake the meat and spices into and open-faced type of laffa bread and then when it comes out of the oven, they fill it with more meat!If you aren’t already drooling, here comes the fun part, I chose lamb all the way through, then he put in the fillings that were so fresh, from the techina dripping through, pickled onions, and I don’t even remember what else the guy put in, but it made it a perfect bite! The lamb was super moist and full of flavor and you can taste the lamb all the way through because it’s baked into the bread! The fries were a bit soggy because sadly Israelis don’t believe in a double fry french fry (pomme frites) but everything else was just perfect.

Turk Lachmaj’un is one of the best shwarmas I have had in Israel, definitely in my top 5 in Israel. So if you find yourself in the Nachalat Binyamin area of central Tel Aviv, come by foot, because there’s almost no parking and get on line for some of the best shwarma, Tel Aviv has to offer.

 

A Magic Burger At Rabin Square

20150217_125625Spending the day in Tel Aviv can be very tiring. Why you ask? Because if you aren’t a native, and don’t know the bus system, you are going to end up walking a ton like I did.

After having a meeting in south central TLV, I called a friend of mine to meet up for lunch. Problem is, it’s very hard to find a good kosher burger in the city of TLV, let alone a great one.

The trend in Tel Aviv is that a lot of restaurants are going kosher but in baby steps. So after looking online we found a kosher fast food burger joint called Magic Burger(Ibn Gvirol 64, Tel Aviv, Rabbanute Tel Aviv). Located next to the very popular and famous shwarma joint Dabush(also Kosher) where the Israelis have been fascinated by the robotic shwarma cutter for those who didn’t know that. In addition, the shwarma is spot on as well.

20150217_125429Back to Magic Burger, after walking up an appetite, I checked out the menu and it’s pretty straight forward. Hamburgers, Lamb Burgers or Chicken breast sandwiches. The place has been opened for a while and they have tried to mimic the classic american hamburger joints across america. the design is very simplistic and straight forward as their menu.

Back to the food. We both ordered hamburgers, I ordered a 400 grams which came as 2 patties stacked high, with a side of fresh cut potato slices.. I had a whole conversation with the owner about the place while taking my order about why he put’s wights on the burgers. He was claiming it speeds up the cooking process while I was saying, it pushes all the juices out of the burger. In the end he didn’t flatten our burgers and it took a bit longer but it was worth the wait.

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20150217_131931The sandwich was very big. Fitting in the two patties into the paper to hold the thing together was a challenge for the cook but he did a good job. My burger looked like it was going to eat my plate of fries! After glancing at this sandwich while adding lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and raw white onions it was a great and flavorful burger from start to finish. only problem was they didn’t toast the bun and it got soggy very fast, but the flavor was their all the way through. The potato slices where crispy and fresh which really took the meal to the next level. But it really is all about the burger at Magic Burger.

If you are going to go there, and try it out, first of all I highly recommend it, secondly plan your trip ahead of time because I ended up walking to the Bursa to catch the bus home and worked of that delicious lunch. So If you are traveling to Tel Aviv or are a local and have never been, try it out, it’s worth the trip!

My trip to TLV got Wings!

10255573_1617655861792084_2695333433537688174_nAfter months of talking about how, when a reason comes up to travel to Tel Aviv, I will have to try out the new Wings Bar. Finally after months of not seeing why I need to leave the holy city of Jerusalem, I had a reason to go and will finally be able to try it out.

For those of you who don’t know about the kosher culinary scene in Tel Aviv, I must share. Everywhere you turn today you can find something kosher. Unlike 10 years ago, the  only kosher food item was a bakery or really expensive restaurants. But today anywhere you turn you can find something different to eat if it’s a cafe or a fast food joint or even some really funky places around the Carmel Market. For those who keep kosher, you do not have to be afraid to eat in the big city anymore, Bon Apetite.

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Wings bar is located in central Tel Aviv, in the shadows of the Shalom tower. What I find cool about the location of the joint is that if you fancy wings but your friends fancy something else, there is a Asian stir fry place on one side and a deli on the other. The wings are king though because the concept of the place is based only on deep fried crunchy chicken wings. “It’s all about the wings” the owner Eitan White told me. When he opened this place with his partner Robert ben Or (who I didn’t get to meet sadly) he told me that this is the only kosher wings bar in the world! The concept was so unique, that chef Leon Elkalay had to get in and help these guys create the menu for the wings bar. When I sat down to talk to Eitan about this funky joint, it really was a dream come true for him. Coming from the hi tech world into the culinary industry is a big risk and it payed off. From cooking for friends on Sunday night football to here. A journey that is taking flight very quickly.

IMG_20141207_213453The wings bar is all about the sauces. The wings are all battered and deep fried , but the sauce is what makes the wings. They have an extensive list of sauces but me and my friend ordered the buffalo and curry. Eitan told me after that you can order the wings and get the sauces separately or to order half and half. We ordered onion rings too. The wings were cooked to perfection like I said, but what surprised me was the battered onion rings, they were amazing. The buffalo wings were very spicy but full of flavor, and the curry wings were sweet and savory deliciousness. The wings come in batches of 8/12/16 and you can leave there without damaging your wallet too. I highly recommend anyone in the area to go and try it out because the wings bar is a legit!