Last week the Ritz Carlton opened its doors in Herzliya. There was great anticipation as to the style and quality of the hotel chain’s first kosher restaurant, The Herbert Samuel, headed by renowned chef Yonatan Roshfeld. Following the grand reputation of the Ritz Carlton worldwide, it more than exceeded expectations.

Walking through the lobby of the hotel, one is transported into a realm of elegance and tranquility. Soft lighting, mirrors and tasteful furnishings enhance the feeling of leaving your day behind. The 360-degree views of the marina are breathtaking and continue straight into the restaurant which, with its refined and elegant nautical décor, reflects its surroundings. The interior designers masterfully combined a long and narrow space with airy partitions to give diners a sense of privacy. At the same time, the partitions can be moved to accommodate any number of patrons and still retain an intimate atmosphere.

We started our meal with freshly baked bread and light antipasti before receiving the hors d’oeuvres. These were tuna sashimi with a beetroot vinaigrette – pink and fuchsia with a touch of green onion; Yellowtail Tataki with roasted peanuts, roasted garlic in a soy sauce; cucumbers shredded like spaghetti with sesame and a green vinaigrette; salmon tartare with tamago, habanero, truffle and black sesame sauce (a trifle too spicy for me); and artichoke salad with white lima beans. The Asian-inspired flavors worked in perfect harmony. The food exhilarated my taste buds, while the colors created a visual explosion.

Next were the pasta dishes. The first was red tuna served on tagliatelle with a hot pepper and white wine sauce.

As the name suggests, this was for diners who like it hot. The second pasta dish was spaghetti with a Tuscan duck ragu. Although the spaghetti and ragu were delicious, the duck was a little overcooked. The sauce itself transported me straight into the Tuscan hills.

The catch of the day was a whole fish, oven roasted with a tapenade of olives and cherry tomatoes, cooked to perfection. It was soft and moist and was beautifully complemented by the sauce. If you are a fish lover, this is the dish for you! The two meat dishes were lamb chops with a wild spice rub with a side of cooked beetroot leaves, and prime rib with golden fried onions.

The lamb, of excellent quality, had a delicious flavor and was perfectly pink inside. I found the rub to be a bit overpowering. Unfortunately, although the prime rib looked amazing, it, alas, never made it to our table.

The dessert, however, did not disappoint! The halva ice cream with espresso granite was not too sweet and had a mousse-like consistency. A citrus cake with a touch of cinnamon and a mandarin sorbet had a delicious, refreshing taste. The piece de resistance was, of course, Roshfeld’s egg – a chocolate egg filled with chocolate mousse atop chocolate flavored filo pastry with a drizzle of chocolate sauce. Chocolate lovers may want to start with dessert.

All in all, this is a kosher restaurant that compares with the best Israel has to offer. If you want to celebrate a special occasion, this is the place to go.

There is free parking in the Arena Mall, and the restaurant is wheelchair accessible.

The writer was a guest of the restaurant.

The Herbert Samuel Kosher Ritz Carlton Hotel, Herzliya.

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger