Passover Picks

Passover in Tel Aviv is packed with dining opportunities. Keren Brown offers a rundown of some major favorites places- both kosher and non-kosher because there is so much more to nibble on than matzah with chocolate spread

6 באפריל 2016

Kosher Restaurants

Deca

10 Ha’tasia St (03-5629900)

Photo by Anatoly Michaello
Photo by Anatoly Michaello

Passover hours:
April 22, Erev Chag: Closed
April 23, Motsei Shabbat : Open
April 24-27: Open
April 28: Closed
April 29: Closed

Unexpectedly located in an industrial area, you will find a strikingly beautiful, contemporary kosher dairy (kitniot/legumes) restaurant that manages to pull of haute cuisine with an incredibly warm vibe. You’ll find the finest of fresh fish, harmoniously seasonal vegetables and an array of plates comprising of homemade sauces and multiple ingredients that sing when placed together. The precisely-selected menu offers the freshest of fish, served alongside homemade sauces, delicate salads and flavors that complement each other through and through. On the menu, you’ll find an intricate sea bass carpaccio with a blood orange vinaigrette, topped with fresh herbs that delight the senses, alongside many options like red tuna with a grilled vegetable gratin, or the endive salad with pear confit, pecans and a delicate goat cheese. With such a large selection of fresh fish and nature’s finest vegetables, you won’t be missing the bread—or anything else for that matter! Want to dine with your entire family? Book one of their beautiful private rooms for a memorable lunch or dinner!

Lumina

10 Eliezer Peri St, Carlton Hotel (03-5201828)

Photo Courtesy of PR
Photo Courtesy of PR

Passover hours:
April 22, Erev Chag: Closed
April 24-27: Open for lunch and dinner
April 28, Erev Chag Sheni: Closed
April 29: Closed

From the kitchen of one of Israel’s most illustrious chefs, Meir Adoni, this modern kosher bistro located in the Carlton Hotel—adjacent to Tel Aviv’s breathtaking beach—has been making waves in the Tel Aviv kosher scene. Adoni previously shook up the restaurant world with his non-kosher, award-winning restaurant, Catit, which won accolades for his signature style, including intricate detailing, a fusion of contrasting textures, impeccably fresh ingredients and surprises in every bite. At Lumina—a kosher meat restaurant—you get the same culinary genius and perfectionism that Adoni’s name is synonymous with. The restaurant’s menu offers a modern interpretation of the Jewish kitchen, highlights from Adoni’s other award-winning restaurant Mizlala and classic brasserie dishes. Thought you wouldn’t fancy gefilte fish? Think again. Lumina’s modern version is made up of steamed fish patties, organic beets and carrots, horseradish honey jelly, carrot cream, black radishes with tapioca, carrot leather, whipped beet cream and a few other ingredients that elevate this dish to another level. Every dish will excite you and surprise you at the same time.

Blue Sky

10 Eliezer Peri St, Carlton Hotel (03-5201830)

Passover hours:
April 22, Erev Chag: Closed
April 24-27: Open for lunch and dinner
April 28, Erev Chag Sheni: Closed
April 29: Closed

Yet another masterpiece from Chef Meir Adoni, Blue Sky is a dairy and fish restaurant that can be found on the rooftop of the prestigious Carlton Hotel. This sophisticated culinary escape offers gorgeous views of Tel Aviv and the Mediterranean Sea. The menu is composed of creative dishes, and every plate is a work of art, layered with contrasting yet complimenting flavors and textures, making them candy for your eyes and a playground for your palate. Exclusively for Passover, you’ll find options like charcoaled sea bream with a white eggplant cream, a yogurt reduction, buffalo mozzarella, tomato butter, grilled zucchini, asparagus and garlic cream or the Middle Eastern grouper carpaccio with black eggplant cream, tomato salsa, crispy onions and chili. Also on the menu, the intriguing almond salad made with green almonds, ginger, chili, preserved lemons, whipped almond and yogurt cream, aloe vera jelly, pea powder and a fennel vinaigrette.

West Side

Royal Beach Hotel, 19 Hayarkon St (03-7405054)

Photo Courtesy of PR
Photo Courtesy of PR

Passover hours:
April 22, Erev Chag: Closed
April 24-27: Dinner 7 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
April 28, Erev Chag Sheni: Closed
April 29, Closed

Step into the luxurious Royal Beach Hotel and make your way towards this modern and stylish meat restaurant with a spacious open kitchen so you can watch the artists/chefs make their mark on what promises to be a masterfully-made dinner. Chef Omri Cohen recently became head chef of this restaurant, bringing his signature style to the table. You’ll discover food that is not only beautiful but wildly creative—and, without exception, made with stellar seasonal ingredients. Luxurious fish and delicate meat dishes adorn the menu with options like mini shot glasses filled with refreshing sashimi in a citrusy vinaigrette, a smoky homemade fresh pepper sauce, and a fresh cucumber salad or the grouper tartar with a cucumber gazpacho; mini cucumbers, eggplant cream, fresh cilantro, mint and olive powder. Try the beef tartar with an almond tahini, baladi eggplant, spicy fried peppers, tomato seeds, coriander and za’atar. Prepare to be whisked away by a whirlwind of flavors and wowed by the generous and gracious service and the crisp and modern New York-lounge feel. There is so much to love about the attention to detail in every bite and the overall ambiance that everything is done right.

Chiripom

29 Ahad Ha’am St (03-6200022)

Photo by Sarit Goffen
Photo by Sarit Goffen

Passover hours:
April 22-23: Closed
April 24-27: 12 noon – 12 midnight
April 28, Erev Chag Sheni: Closed
April 29, Closed

Masterchef winner Avi Levy’s Chiripom feels like an open invitation into his home. Before you even get a chance to sit down and look at the menu, you’re greeted with a platter packed with olives, eggplant salad and other dips. Everything about this homey spot is colorful, from the aromatic flavors and spices to the eclectic menu of Moroccan and Algerian-influenced dishes. The overall vibe compels you to try an array of comfort foods and feel right at home. On the menu, you’ll find decadent chicken stuffed with pumpkin and almonds, warm stews made with Middle Eastern spices, a lamb chop tagine with sultry sultana raisins or leek patties with chard and a lemony hummus sauce. Grab a seat on the outside bar while you enjoy the heat of the evening and the Passover vacay.

The Gluteria

5 Pinchas Ben Yair St, Shuk Hapishpishim, Jaffa Flea Market
(053-6205985)

Photo Courtesy of PR
Photo Courtesy of PR

Restaurant schedule:
April 24- May 2, 11:00 a.m-11 p.m
Shop hours:
April 20-April 23, Wednesday-Thursday 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Friday 10:00 a.m- 3:00 p.m.

Chef Eran Zino’s The Gluteria is a gluten-free pop-up restaurant and shop located in the Noor Culture Club in Jaffa’s Shuk Hapishpishim (flea market). There will be something for every mood: sitting down for a romantic dinner, sipping vino at the bar or just picking up some bread and pastries to take home. Carb lovers will find solace in the variety;  roasted gnocchi with hazelnut butter, handmade pizzas, fluffy focaccias, baked cauliflower with cashew tahini and sprouted black lentils, thick noodles with crunchy duck,  bok choy, sprouts and so much more. Pick up a bottle of wine or some handmade breads made from teff, quinoa or flaxseed flours to enjoy at home. For your sweet tooth, choose any of the cakes, cookies and tarts at this gluten-free paradise!

Liliyot Restaurant

2 Dafna St (03-6091331)

Photo by Daniella Layla
Photo by Daniella Layla

Passover hours:
April 22-23, Closed
April 24-27: 12:00 pm – 11:00 p.m.
April 28, Erev Chag Sheni: Closed
April 29: Closed

Right next door to the courthouse, you’ll find Liliyot, a welcoming meat bistro with a casual yet classy vibe. During lunch time, expect a business crowd of lawyers and professionals and as evening comes, the lighting dims and this restaurant fills up with couples, groups and lots of English speakers. The menu is composed of a generous selection of meat and fish including juicy entrecôte, red tuna sashimi, lamb spare ribs and the seared sea bass with yellow peppers and forest mushrooms. Expect high quality ingredients executed with excellent technique and everything made in house.  Not just a restaurant, Liliyot has a social purpose in mind.  Ever since it was founded in 1999, Liliyot has collaborated with Elem, a non-profit, to provide youth at risk with learning opportunities in the kitchen. The youth go through training for a year and a half, working in the kitchen and they come out of this project with new hopes, a new future and a new career path.

Non-kosher Restaurants

Totuma

265 Dizengoff St (03-5168963)

Photo by Shiran Carmel
Photo by Shiran Carmel

Hours:
April 22, Erev Chag: Closed
Open the rest of the week during regular hours: 12 noon – 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. – 11 p.m.

It’s time for arepa therapy! When you really crave something doughy and delicious, be sure to stop by this casual Venezuelan restaurant and try an arepa, a light and airy pita-like dough made of ground-maize and bursting with fillings such as cheese, avocado or meat. From the kitchen of MasterChef contestant Dalia Alhadef, this lively and welcoming restaurant is the place to bite into a rich array of hard-to-find flavors and ingredients like the Pabellón version of the arepa; slow cooked meat, black beans, salty cheese and the caramelized plantains, oh the plantains! A delicious experience in themselves, these thick-skinned, greenish version of bananas have a delicate savory taste. Also order them fried up as chips with a Guasacaca salsa, the Venezuelan version of guacamole, and a black bean dip. If you're staying away from bread, you’ll have many options since all the arepas and the empanadas are made of corn. Treat yourself to a Chicha, a thick creamy beverage best described as a rice pudding milkshake: all custardy thick with a cinnamon sprinkle and oh-so refreshing on a warm sunny day.

Miazaki

20 Raoul Wallenberg St (03-8009999)

Photo by Ilya Melnikov
Photo by Ilya Melnikov

Hours:
April 22, Erev Chag: 12 noon until late afternoon
Open the rest of the week during regular market restaurant hours: 12:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. daily

This Japanese street food joint is situated at Shuk Tsafon, the new happening foodie market in Ramat Hayal, a north-eastern neighborhood of Tel Aviv. From the owner of the award-winning restaurant Taizu, Miazaki is about Japanese street food at its best. Enjoy steaming hot, deep bowls of ramen, a Japanese soup, filled with noodles simmered in a rich, slow-cooked broth and extras like a marinated soft boiled egg, a spread made from fava beans and more. Opt for anything that has been cooked on the Robata grill, a unique grill that originated in Northern Japan and that provides an intricate smoky flavor. Choose from fish, chicken or tofu and you’ll get some skewers with a tender protein in a Tare sauce composed of soya, mirin and sake. On the side, housemade pickles, a miso-sesame sauce, and steamed buns or rice. Don’t choose just one dessert, get a couple, like the truffles with white chocolate and Matcha green tea or the Yuzu tart, a black sesame seed crust with a custard made of Yuzu, a sour Japanese citrus fruit, a Japanese twist on the classic lemon pie.

The Cookbook Cafe

25 Zvulun St (03-5330899)

Photo by Haim Yosef
Photo by Haim Yosef

Hours:
April 22, Erev Chag: Closed
April 23: Closed
Open the rest of the week during regular hours: Weekdays 7:30 a.m – 6:00 p.m., Saturday 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

This cozy cafe is a cookbook lover’s oasis with books of all kinds lining the shelves. These cookbooks are not just for browsing. At this homey spot, you can even borrow your favorite cookbook and take it home for a test read. This cafe is located near the Levinsky Market and is a great place to work on your laptop, to lunch with friends, or have a dinner date with that cookbook you have been meaning to devour. The menu is composed of fresh seasonal salads, home-cooked fare and, for those missing the bread, hearty sandwiches bursting with homemade condiments. Rev up your energy levels with the vibrant green shake, made of kale, lettuce, celery, dates and freshly-squeezed apple juice. Opt for the scrumptious shakshuka with chickpeas and chard, the house-made roast beef, or any of the dishes gloriously packed with fresh vegetables. Don’t head home without getting some of their homemade deli items like cherry tomato jam, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh pesto and more.

Nam

275 Dizengoff St (03-6708050)

Photo by Matan Katz
Photo by Matan Katz

Hours:
April 22, Erev Chag: Closed
Open the rest of the week during regular hours. 12:30 p.m. – 5 p.m., 6 p.m. – 12 midnight

Nam just seems to get everything right: quality Thai food at reasonable prices, a laid-back atmosphere and a few blocks from the beach. If you’re doing the “kosher light” thing—like avoiding bread, but eating everything else—you’ll find an extensive selection of rice dishes, rice noodles and lots of curry! On the menu, there are palate-pleasing salads like Som Tum, a spicy green papaya salad with green beans, peanuts, garlic and hot chilies or Jungle Curry with slices of sirloin in a spicy curry sauce with Thai eggplant, chilies and kaffir lime, or a vibrant and peanut-studded Pad Thai. Everything at Nam consists of fresh and aromatic ingredients like the Thai basil, fresh lemongrass or Thai eggplant. Sip some of the fresh fruit shakes with coconut milk, refreshing iced tea with lemongrass, ginger and mint, creative cocktails and more! The service is generous; the atmosphere is hip yet family-friendly and the prices are affordable.

Da Da & Da

7 Rothschild Blvd (03-5511211)

Photo Courtesy of PR
Photo Courtesy of PR

Hours:
April 22: Erev Chag, 7 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Open the rest of the week during regular hours

Inhale a dose of en vogue Paris chic at this stylish café, located under the French Institute building—naturally a hub for all things Français, including courses and events. As you enter the cafe, the anticipation builds with the vibe: upbeat music, a fashionably chic crowd and an eclectic menu with everything from farm-fresh salads to fresh pastries and fine seafood. The breakfasts here are heavenly; choose from pancakes, eggs Benedict, poached eggs, brioche and more. Satisfy your pastry cravings with buttery croissants, humongous chocolate chip cookies, pastel-colored French macarons and other fresh-from-the-oven delights. For lunch, opt for spare ribs with polenta and roasted garlic, steak and eggs – sunny side up eggs and a minute steak in red wine or choose anything from the large selection of seafood, chicken and fish dishes. Don’t miss the Da Da & Da salad: crisp lettuce, gravlax, anchovy, and soft boiled egg topped with flying fish roe A.K.A tobiko. The location is central and absolutely perfect for people watching.  Plus, you will feel like you’ve just been whisked away to France.

Benedict

29 Rothschild Blvd,Tel Aviv (03-6868657); 171 Ben Yehuda St, Tel Aviv (03-6868657); Sarona Compound, Tel Aviv; 1 Ramat Yam St, Herzliya (03-6868657)

Benedict, photo by Daniel Erev
Benedict, photo by Daniel Erev


Serving breakfast all day long, Benedict knows that breakfast isn't just for the mornings. Inspired by a variety of international breakfast favorites, Benedict incorporates a variety of global flavors and adapts them to the local Mediterranean palate. From a classic New York diner breakfast to Texas eggs to a Scandinavian option of fish and potatoes, Benedict offers a fusion culinary experience like no other breakfast spot in Israel. Mixing in some Spanish spice, Benedict even offers Mexican breakfast dishes. But don't worry, you can still find your favorite Israeli shakshuka, as well as a traditional Israeli breakfast with an array of eggs, cheeses, and salads. With something on the menu for everyone, there is no excuse to skip breakfast, especially with Passover specials including a Balkan matzo pie crafted from spinach, Bulgarian cheese and cherry tomatoes, served with sour cream and green salad and the LP Eggs Benedict – two poached eggs on matzo bray medallions served with hollandaise sauce.

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Eating In is the New Going Out

When the sun is shining, it’s all too easy to feel that cooking for the seder is a chore. Not a problem! Pick up some salads, meat and deli foods and throw together an eclectic holiday meal.

Havat Zuk/Zuk Farm
4 Zaritzki St, Ramat Aviv (077-5155905)

This restaurant and deli will be open on the day of Erev Chag (closing at 1 p.m.) and open regular hours throughout the rest of the week. Pick up gefilte fish, chopped liver, veal tongue and porcini mushrooms in white wine, or lamb neck in dried fruit. They have hard-to-find ingredients, a huge selection of salads and treats to take home and a vast selection of wines.

Grasyani
105 King George St (03-6006676) and 123 Yehuda Levi St (03-5070471)

If you want to stock up on carbs, stop by Grasyani for sourdough bread, whole wheat crackers, sauces, dips and spreads and beautiful cakes like the chocolate espresso cake, whole wheat sugar-free carrot cake and the indulgent poppy seed chocolate cake with apples.

Hook (meathook.co.il)

Hook, photo courtesy of PR
Hook, photo courtesy of PR

For artisan meats and charcuterie, order from Hook, an online meat shop and smokehouse offering charcuterie and a selection of high-quality meats that are made with top-notch ingredients without the need for preservatives. You’ll find chicken liver pâté, goose confit, smoked corn beef, chorizo, lamb bacon, smoked goose legs and more, all delivered to your door.