Chef Restaurant and Bar: Aria's "Taste of Mind" Menu

| by: Time Out Israel's writers

As if transplanted from a European city, restaurant-bar Aria holds court over the intersection of Yehuda HaLevi and Nachalat Binyamin Streets, standing tall and somewhat mysterious

Photo by: Ben Yuster

Aria of Tel Aviv’s new tasting menu ‘Taste of Mind’ offers diners the opportunity to taste seven dishes and two desserts at a fixed price of NIS 128 per person. Consisting of a compilation of the recommended dishes on their menu, this tasting opportunity is served at the restaurant from Saturday through Wednesday for diners to truly experience a taste of Aria’s selections. The tasting menu consists of ten entrees and four desserts to choose from, comprised of gourmet, high quality dishes appealing to any diner with a craving to try new flavors.

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Aria Tasting Menu

The assortment of entrees ranges from scallops on black risotto and crab sauce, to a fish tartar with avocado cream, coupled with a ginger vinaigrette and black tobiko, and oxtail tortellini in a sweet cream corn sauce. Some of the other highlights off the tasting entrees include steak over cream of artichoke with leek prepared in red wine sauce, roasted artichoke over a cream of chestnuts and grated Parmesan and more. As for dessert, diners can choose from berry mascarpone, vanilla mascarpone with almond crumble and meringue kisses with confit berries, a caramel sea salt with burnt marshmallow, cocoa bean and vanilla ice cream dish, and their “nemesis” dessert.

Photo by: Ben Yuster

Photo by: Ben Yuster

Set in a historic building that once belonged to the family of Yoel Moshe Salomon, an Ultra Orthodox Rabbi whose ancestors were among the pioneers of 19th century Jerusalem's Ashkenazi community, the structure recently underwent a massive overhaul, and now gleams gloriously as a two-story chef's bistro and happening lounge/bar.

Helming the restaurant is Chef Guy Gamzu, who previously worked at famed Tel Avivian restaurant Raphael for several years. Gamzu's meticulous selection of ingredients and execution is a blend of old world European techniques and contemporary cuisine.

For those in for the standard menu, start off with the duck roulettes, sidled by endives glazed in sweet vinegar sauce or the expertly sliced hamachi alongside a seaweed salad trickled with yuzu. The mains arrive hefty and artful on thoughtfully designed ceramic dishes. Choose from the porcini ravioli, plump and rich with earthy Jerusalem artichokes and Gloucester cheese or a fresh catch of the day slathered in spicy hyssop cream, artichokes and roasted tomatoes. The pan-seared sirloin is lovingly coated in a classic Bordelaise sauce and absolutely delicious. Add to the luxurious feast by selecting a complementary glass of vino from a variety of whites and reds hailing from near (Golan Heights, Ella Valley) far (Italy, France and Germany).

Photo by: Ben Yuster

Photo by: Ben Yuster

As for the atmosphere, expect a well-heeled crowd who appreciate great food and design in equal proportion. The actual space is tastefully decorated with exposed wood beams overhead, wine bottles cradled by white brick walls, and a whole stairwell wall beautifully and unexpectedly overflowing with flora and fauna.

Sweet tooths will be majorly satisfied with the fragrant Manjari chocolate cake infused with Ashanti cream, tonka bean and coffee mouse, then topped with honey whiskey ice cream (!) or the perfectly sublime lemon tart, filled to bursting with Italian meringue and a raspberry zest. Once you've scraped every morsel from your plates, head downstairs and stay a while. The cocktail bar beckons with Tel Aviv's gorgeous, hip crowd and a live DJ spins nightly ensuring that the evening continues well into the wee hours.

"Taste of Mind" menu – NIS 128 per person. Reservations for the tasting menu must be made in advance
66 Nahalat Binyamin St, Tel Aviv (03-5296054) See: Aria Sat-Wed, 19:00-last customer. 

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