This evening (Tuesday, 1 Feb 2011), following a wine tasting of the Yiron wines of Galil Mountain Winery I lingered on to enjoy dinner at Tel Aviv's Nana Bar.
There are few things more "tricky" for a restaurant than catering to a table of 25 or so people. In worst case scenarios what happens is that the same dishes are served to all at the table at more-or-less the same moment, which of course means that what was ordered medium-rare might just as well come out blood rare or well done and that at least half the dishes will come to the table quite cold. In best scenarios, the restaurant will wisely serve first courses family style (in case anyone is old enough to remember, that is formally referred to as "Russian style") and then give diners a choice of four or five main courses, that allowing the cooks to prepare a reasonable number of dishes in fairly short order and get them to the table hot and prepared as desired.
So it was this evening at Nana Bar. First courses, all served in generous portions included a fine carpaccio of beef fillet, the beef cut tissue thin as is appropriate, sprinkled over with coarse salt, olive oil and just a few drops of balsamic vinegar. The dish was fresh and refreshing. Following that was a salad of sprouts and kohlrabi, the kohlrabi cut in thin strips and the salad with a lightly hot sauce of chile and wassabi peas. Finally, a seviche of grey mullet, that tossed with small cubes of avocado, celery and tomatoes, all dressed simply and well with nothing but fresh lemon juice. With those fine foccaccia bread.
As a main course I opted for an entrecote steak, that sprinkled over with Atlantic sea salt, 4 colored, coarsely ground pepper and brushed with olive oil before being grilled. This particular cut of entrecote might have come from a pre-frozen portion controlled package but that was forgivable as it proved medium-rare as requested, just firm enough and with fine flavor. Creamed potatoes and black lentils made a fine match to the dish.
I have dined at Nana Bar on quite a few occasions. The ambiance is most pleasant, the service always warm and responsive and the cuisine, true to what should be "bar cuisine" is tasty and well executed without being pretentious or false in any way. No less important, prices are quite moderate.
Definitely worth trying.
Nana Bar: Rehov Achad haAm 1, Neve Tzedek, Tel Aviv. Open daily 12:00 – 02:00 or later. Tel 03 5161915