Founded by the late Daniel Rogov, welcoming foodies to discuss the dining scenes in Israel and abroad, along with all things related to kosher food.

Visiting soon

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Marlyne K

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Visiting soon

by Marlyne K » Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:46 pm

We will be visiting Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Eilat, and would appreciate information on nicer dining places in each destination. We have been told about several restaurants, mostly in Jerusalem. One, Catit, sounded very interesting, but we were unable to find out any information about their menu. We're not on a specific budget, just like to know in advance what we're getting into.
Any information you can offer on that restaurant, or any you might recommend, would be greatly appreciated. We like to make advance reservations whenever possible.
Thanks!
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Re: Visiting soon

by Marlyne K » Sun Aug 16, 2015 10:01 pm

Didn't know how to edit my previous post, but the restaurants do not have to be kosher. Nicer if they were, just not necessary. Also, was just told Catit is in Tel Aviv (only one we know of there so far). Took down names from previous posts here... Angelica is one we are exploring, also Eucalyptus and The Rooftop (mostly for drinks, I understand).
Thanks for info.
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Re: Visiting soon

by Robin Garr » Mon Aug 17, 2015 9:27 am

Marlyne K wrote:Didn't know how to edit my previous post,

Marlyne, I hope you get good advice soon!

As for editing, what you did is fine. For future reference, though, you can click the little pencil icon to go into edit mode. See illustration below. (Obviously, you can only edit your own message! :) )

editpost.jpg
How to edit a post
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Re: Visiting soon

by Marlyne K » Mon Aug 17, 2015 11:02 am

Thanks, Robin. I figured it out by my second post (note that I edited that one!). Hope we hear from the members of the forum. We went on Trip Advisor and got mixed signals about most of the places we looked at; figured folks on the Forum might have better advice. After all that, I've got to learn about Israeli wines, other than the few I've had here, as I always get handed the wine list!
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Re: Visiting soon

by Robin Garr » Mon Aug 17, 2015 4:39 pm

One thought ... this forum seems to get relatively little traffic. Please feel free to repost on the main Kosher Wine Forum ... it's perfectly all right to do that. :)
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Re: Visiting soon

by Mike_F » Tue Aug 18, 2015 12:34 pm

Catit is indeed a strong contender for the title of best restaurant in Israel. It is the flagship restaurant of Chef Meir Adoni,currently open only for dinner with a fixed price tasting menu that is not cheap by Israeli standards, but well worth the splurge imvho. For more details on the menu and price see http://www.catit.co.il/eng/

Next to Catit is another one of Chef Adoni's restauranta - the Mizlala, a more casual and lively option- see http://www.mizlala.co.il/en

Other favourites of ours in Tel Aviv are Kitchen Market in Tel Aviv Port - http://www.kitchen-market.co.il/en/home/default.aspx . Onza in the Jaffa flea market area - http://www.onza.co.il/en
Brut for a wine bar with great food - http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_R ... trict.html

got to run, will try to post more suggestions tomorrow. If you can list the recommendations you already got, I can try to filter them for you.
Of course we must be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.”
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Re: Visiting soon

by Marlyne K » Tue Aug 18, 2015 4:25 pm

Mike, thanks for your suggestions. The following is the list we have compiled (too many for each stop, and we'll have to cut it down a lot!)
Tel Aviv: Tatraklin; Kitchen Market (looks like a must do); Catit (it's costly by US standards, too, unless maybe a MAJOR special occasion).
Eilat: The Last Refuge; Rak Dagim; Les Sardines; Olla
Jerusalem: The Eucalyptus; Angelica; Rooftop; Racha; Mantra; Cavalier; Culinary Workship; Taura; Katy's; 1868; HaChaTzer (note we will only be there 5 nights...might have to stay longer!)
Any information you might have or websites to visit would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Visiting soon

by Mike_F » Wed Aug 19, 2015 6:20 am

Hi Marlyne,

Re' your list:

Tel Aviv:
HaTraklin is a meat restaurant, nothing specially creative or local about their menu, they have ups and downs but this is not a place I would suggest a tourist should make an effort to visit.
Catit is indeed costly by everyday standards, but imvho it would rate two Michelin stars if the Michelin guide ever comes to Tel Aviv, and for that level the pricing is reasonable. We try to find an excuse to go there at least once or twice a year... . As noted in my earlier post, the Mizlala at the same address offers a more affordable and casual version of Adoni's cuisine, and is a fun and great place to dine.
Kitchen Market at Tel Aviv port and Onza in Jaffa flea market are both under Chef Yossi Shitrit, and both very enjoyable indeed.
How many days will you be in Tel Aviv area? From the culinary viewpoint Tel Aviv is the most interesting and varied city in Israel, so let me know if you need additional suggestions.

Eilat:
Daniel Rogov z"l used to say that Eilat is a culinary wasteland. I must admit that I think this description was overly kind, but he was a gentle soul sometimes... . The situation has not improved in recent years, Eilat is a tourist town, many places are overpriced and do not expect to see their clients ever again, and the results are predictable. Unfortunately I really cannot recommend anything that will consistently give you a memorable culinary experience at reasonable value for money. To be fair however, I don't spend enough time in Eilat to claim a comprehensive local knowledge. Of the places you mentioned, the Last Refuge can provide an acceptable meal, but don't expect anything amazing.

More later...
Of course we must be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.”
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Re: Visiting soon

by Mike_F » Wed Aug 19, 2015 6:36 am

Re' Jerusalem, imvho the current two best options for fine dining that are not overly expensive (not cheap mind you, but give value for money in their price bracket) are:

Chakra - http://www.chakra-rest.com/en/

Mona - http://monarest.co.il/mona/en/

For a different kind of culinary experience, consider touring and tasting through Machne Yehuda market - see http://www.machne.co.il/en/

And finally for a very affordable and enjoyable version of local cuisine, try Ima - http://www.ima-rest.co.il/en
Of course we must be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.”
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Re: Visiting soon

by Mike_F » Wed Aug 19, 2015 6:45 am

And another highly recommended option in the Jerusalem Hills - Rama's Kitchen - http://ramak.co.il/en/
Of course we must be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.”
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Re: Visiting soon

by Marlyne K » Thu Aug 20, 2015 12:37 pm

Mike...we need a MONTH! We definitely travel on our stomachs, and after looking up all these different places, I think we need to stay longer :lol:
One question: Mona's website menu didn't list prices...any info on it? We're pushing for one evening at Eucalyptus...it just seemed atmospheric with good food (according to all the "diner reviews" we've read. Mona is also up top of the list, but we're trying to have as much information as we can before presenting to the two other couples.
Thanks again.
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Re: Visiting soon

by Mike_F » Thu Aug 20, 2015 5:40 pm

Hi Marlyne,

Mona's prices should be in the same range as Chakra, more or less. 'Tis a while since I was there, so cannot be more definitive than that.

Also realized that I forgot to mention Machneyuda - http://www.machneyuda.co.il/en , one of the most "in" Jerusalem restaurants. It is very popular and highly thought of by many people whose palates I trust, but somehow I never went there because the noisy ambiance they are famous for is not my style. If you want good food from market-fresh ingredients together with cooks playing drums on their pans while waiters sing the orders at high volume (I kid you not...), 'tis a memorable experience by all accounts...

Eucalyptus, I have mixed feelings. My wife (then girlfriend) and I ate often at the original location of this restaurant when we were students in Jerusalem ~25 years ago - it was a small shed-like structure with a large Eucalyptus tree growing in the middle of it through the roof, and the kitchen was a two burner gas set-up where Chef Moshe Basson concocted fantastic dishes based on local herbs wild-picked in the Judean Hills. Over the years the restaurant moved and expanded and became more commercial, and somehow lost its magic for me. However most tourists really enjoy the current version of Eucalyptus, so I guess I am pining for my lost youth, don't let that stop you...

enjoy,

Mike
Of course we must be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.”
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Re: Visiting soon

by Marlyne K » Thu Aug 20, 2015 7:06 pm

Funniest thing...when we go anywhere, just the two of us, we always ask "where do the tourists go?" and then ask
"where would YOU go?"...and stay away from tourists. However (a big "however") we won't be on our own, and I think places that are more "touristy" might be more their style. As long as the food and service are good, no worries.
Often, when places become so very popular, and thus have to expand...or have the means to expand, they lose something. We've had that happen so many times here, and frequently they end up closing! The Eucalyptus obviously avoided that fate, so they must be doing something right.
We're only offering our options to the group, and letting them research on their own. We'll see which ones they choose.
Thanks again! Now on to the wines!!!
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Re: Visiting soon

by Marlyne K » Fri Aug 21, 2015 3:06 pm

Mike, we've just been informed that we are to make arrangements and reservations for dinners for our mini-group of three couples. Now we're really having to go to work! They were really impressed when I said my "wine guru from Israel" was giving us advice!
(can you feel the pressure?) Question: we're trying to figure out the right time for a reservation by your standards; here in the US a
7 to 7:30 is the most popular; we're flexible. Here, we frequently make a reservation for 8:00, and show up 15 minutes to a half-hour early (which is better than 15 minutes late!), and hope to be seated. Is that do-able there? We would rather be early than late for a reservation!
Looking forward to your reply! Pressure, pressure!
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Re: Visiting soon

by Mike_F » Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:23 am

Hi Marlyne,

There was only one "wine guru from Israel", and his name was Rogov. My advice, for whatever it's worth, comes from one wine geek to another...

Most Israeli restaurants will give you a reservation around 8, some of them might specify an alternative preferred time if they are trying to fit in two sittings per evening. I also try to show up early whenever possible.

mike
Of course we must be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.”
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Re: Visiting soon

by Marlyne K » Sat Aug 22, 2015 12:55 pm

Sorry...would NEVER put Rogov into a category other than MAJOR GURU... my thinking is that most folks on this forum have more knowledge than I do, so they are "my" source for information. I do miss him (I think everyone who was on the Forum back then does), and have saved the tn's that I printed out and attached to the wines I questioned him on... and he was always spot-on!

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