A meal at Jerusalem’s Blue Hall.
(photo credit: ELAD BRAMI)
In its previous incarnation, Blue Hall Music in Jerusalem was a bar called the Blue Hole, named after the iconic Sinai diving spot. With blue recessed lighting and curvy white-painted walls that lead to the underground restaurant, you feel like you’re walking underwater.
The restaurant has simple clean lines with dark wood tables and white leather chairs. There is a stage in the front, with live music performances every night at 10 pm. In the afternoons, it serves as a venue for events such as bar mitzvas, opening for dinner every night (except Friday) at 6 p.m.
As soon as we sat down, our server, Eden, offered us a big smile and a cocktail. She suggested that I try the Cosmopolitan – vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice and lime juice (NIS 42). Served ice cold, it was one of the best cocktails I’ve had in Israel. My companion had a mojito, made of rum and served with lots of lemon and fresh mint (NIS 42). He said that while mojitos in Israel are often too sweet, this one was more tart and pronounced it “excellent.”
Eden’s excellent service throughout the meal reminded me just how much good service can add to the dining experience.
Blue Hall Music is part of the capital’s downtown Kikar Humusica, with its lovely harp-shaped fountain in the center. The restaurant carries the music theme through its menu, calling its appetizers The Opening Accord; its salads The Symphony of the Garden; and its main dishes The Concert.
From The Opening Accord, I chose the salmon tartare wrapped in avocado (NIS 54). My companion had the beef fillet carpaccio (NIS 49).
The fresh salmon was seasoned with yuzu, soy and ginger atop a mango cream. The fish was molded into a ball and covered with perfectly ripe avocado.
I had made a deal with my dining partner that we would switch plates halfway through, but the salmon was so good that I thought about reneging. I was glad I didn’t, however, when I tasted the carpaccio with nut oil and balsamic vinegar, sprinkled with walnuts. The thin slices of meat almost melted in my mouth.
For main dish, I couldn’t resist the beef fillet steak and Portobello mushrooms, served on top of a sweet potato cream with a wine sauce (NIS 135). I savored every bite of the fillet, cooked perfectly medium-rare as I had requested. My companion chose the salmon fillet in coconut and curry mousse (NIS 99), and the combination of flavors was unique.
We also sampled the entrecote steak with grilled vegetables and Cajun potatoes (NIS 112). It was also well cooked, and the potatoes had an interesting blend of spices.
There are more reasonably priced dishes on the menu as well, such as a huge schnitzel with mashed potatoes (NIS 58); cornflake-crusted chicken described as “Kentucky-Fried-Chicken style” (NIS 62); and a hamburger in a brioche (NIS 62).
For dessert, Eden recommended the hot chocolate souffle, as well as a plate with three mini-desserts: a nut cake, an apple cake and brownies. I wasn’t a big fan of the apple cake, but everything else was delicious.
As befits its previous incarnation as a bar, Blue Hall Music has an extensive alcohol menu that includes more than 50 varieties of whisky from Scotland, Ireland, Canada and the US, and an excellent wine list with descriptions of each bottle. If you really want to splurge, you could go for the Yatir Forest at NIS 950, but there are more reasonable offerings as well.The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
Blue Hall Music Kosher (Mehuderet) 12 Yoel Salomon, Jerusalem Tel: (02) 625-6488