Most top chefs in Israel do not choose to open kosher restaurants. This is a
somewhat puzzling phenomenon in a Jewish state but true nonetheless. For this
reason, we were very pleased to revisit the kosher Italian chef’s restaurant UNO
in Tel Aviv’s busy center, near the museum, opera and court. UNO recently
refreshed its menu, adding new and delicious dishes that provide a personal
kosher interpretation to the modern Italian cuisine.
Decorated in a
modern and elegant fashion, the atmosphere seems to fit its clientele –
businessmen and lawyers for lunch and families for dinner – like a
glove. There is a large and well-equipped bar along one wall, which as an
after-thought we decided would have been the best place to sit. But we were
shown to our table in a boothlike area with soft padded benches and round
tables. In other parts we saw parties celebrating birthdays around larger family
UNO’s chef, Nitzan Raz, bypassed the kosher challenge in a very
clever way. The restaurant serves a dairy Italian cuisine and thus doesn’t have
to forgo using cheese and cream where needed.
Our friendly and
knowledgeable waiter suggested we start with something from the crudo part of
the menu. Crudo, which means raw, includes such items as carpaccio and tartare.
We couldn’t make up our minds which, so we chose two – the crudo corvina with
pickled kohlrabi, celery, radishes tomato seeds and Atlantic sea salt, which was
very good (NIS 54) and the sea bream carpaccio with confit of Portobello,
truffle oil, tomato seeds and chili, which was even better (NIS 52).
get a feel of the Italian, we sampled the cappelletti porcini (mini raviolis
filled with mushroom, porcini oil and Pecorino cheese), which was so good, we
fought over it.
Trying very hard to limit the calorie intake, we
overlooked the special pasta and gnocchi dishes, salad menu, pizza and
bruschetta menus and went straight to the fish, which was a good decision. But
people dropping in for a quick meal and a drink can certainly find many
reasonably priced and very tasty options, such as soup of the day (NIS 27),
pizza and bruschetta (NIS 38- 54), Italian salads (NIS 42-28), risotto (NIS 54)
and pasta dishes (NIS 48- 58).
My dinner companion chose the grilled
whole sea bream with gnocchi served with potato and artichoke. It was well
prepared and very satisfying. I chose the fillet of salmon on a bed of
green ragout, which was really good, well cooked and tasted fresh. A
bottle of the Sauvignon Blanc from the Regional series by Carmel went very well
with all the dishes we ate.
We vowed to try tiramisu where available, and
this was not going to be an exception. Here they serve the Italian dessert in a
glass, and it does look more elegant. It was good and not too sweet and,
together with some well-prepared espresso, it was a perfect ending to a very
On New Year’s Eve, UNO will have a special meal for two
including choice of two starters from the special menu, two main dishes and a
dessert for NIS 169 per person.The writer was a guest of the
restaurant.UNO Kosher 2 Weizmann St. (Beit Amot Hashkaot), Tel Aviv (03)