Not only the name of a good restaurant, Adora has established itself as a wellreputed moniker on the Tel Aviv culinary scene. The atmosphere is both informal and stylish – warm, busy and surprisingly sophisticated.

Adora recently introduced a vegan menu that’s chock full of appetizing treats. My dining partner and I decided to try a few things from this menu, as well as the regular dinner menu.

Adora’s menu is based on French cuisine, enlivened with Mediterranean accents and the freshest local produce. For creative chef Avi Biton, it is an ongoing challenge to take advantage of seasonal ingredients; but he has proven successful so far, with the end result being an array of exciting and innovative dishes.

Adora also has an extensive cocktail menu to go along with its summer dishes. Passion Perrier (NIS 39) – a mix of vodka, passion fruit, strawberry and basil served with a bottle of Perrier – and fresh whiskey (NIS 36) – whiskey, pineapple, bitter lemon and sour mix – are two of the more unusual entries.

We started with two dishes from the vegan menu. First up was a Turkish eggplant masabacha (NIS 44) served with chickpeas, tomatoes, tehina and olive oil. It was quite a simple combination but well executed and full of flavor. In between, we enjoyed home-baked warm crusty sourdough bread (NIS 17) with garlic confit and olive tapenade. This was followed by a vegan take on the traditional meurav Yerushalmi (Jerusalem mixed grill) (NIS 76). Consisting of soy flakes, shallots. mushrooms, cauliflower, grilled onions and tehina on a crispy laffa, it was absolutely delicious and tasted even better than most ones I have had with meat.

Having eaten at Adora before, I was looking forward to once again sampling the felafel stuffed with seared eggplant, herbs and Parmesan cheese (NIS 45), served with a side of sunflower sprout salad. It did not disappoint.

After a bit of a breather, we were presented with an exceptional risotto dish (NIS 79) in white wine and vegetable broth, Arabian spinach and truffles served with Parmesan and crème fraîche – another testament to the talent of the chef.

This was followed by a calf cheek ravioli (NIS 86) with root vegetables served in red wine, garlic confit and oregano sauce. The ravioli was divine as was the sumptuous, silky beef.

Last but not least was homemade caramelized gnocchi (NIS 83) served in porcini mushroom sauce. The gnocchi was exceptional, and the sweet creamy sauce was so good that we used the rest of the sourdough bread to sop up what remained on the plate.

The desserts were delightful. We shared the devilishly decadent nemesis chocolate cake (NIS 39) with whipped tonka cream. This was followed by patisserie cream rolls (NIS 38) filled with vanilla cream served in a delicate berry sauce. These alone would keep us coming back for more.

The writer was a guest of the restaurant.

Adora Not kosher 226 Ben-Yehuda St., Tel Aviv (03) 605-0896

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