(photo credit: PR)
A new kosher eatery has joined the already hopping scene at Music Square in the heart of downtown Jerusalem.
Nachman, which opened in December, is a dairy restaurant that focuses on pizza, pasta and fish, and also includes vegan and gluten-free options. The menu is directed by chef Rachel Dabach, who previously owned and ran the pizza parlor PIPS and before that the cafe Rachela.
The menu at Nachman is varied, including a brunch deal served until 4 p.m. The space is small but cozy, with a modern design and feel. Although the dining room is built around an impressive-looking brick oven, the seating area was still pretty chilly on a recent cold Jerusalem night.
Before we sampled the fruits of the pizza oven, my dining companion and I started out with some appetizers: arancini (NIS 42) – breaded, fried rice balls stuffed with smoked mozzarella on a bed of tomato sauce; and a Camembert bruschetta with a tomato jam and arugula salad (NIS 49).
The arancini were piping hot and crisp on the outside while creamy on the inside, and the accompanying sauce helped to cut through the heavy, creamy cheesiness. The same thing could be said about the bruschetta. The tomato jam really balanced out the intensity of the Camembert. In fact, the jam – lightly sweetened and spiced – was so good that I would have gladly bought a jar to take home.
Next up were our main courses – a pizza, of course, specifically the four-cheese pizza (NIS 69), which came topped with ricotta, mozzarella, pecorino and Parmesan. Alongside that, we sampled the pappardelle pasta (NIS 56) – wide noodles topped with a mushroom and cream ragout.
The pizza crust was the perfect combination of crisp and chewy, and thin without being brittle. The cheeses were all high quality and tasty, although without a tomato contrast, it was definitely a heavy dish. While we couldn’t finish the entire thing, we did enjoy dipping the crusts into the mushroom sauce from the pasta. Which brings us to the pappardelle. The dish’s sauce was excellent, creamy without being too heavy, with a clear and pronounced mushroom flavor (and, of course, presence of fresh mushrooms). The pasta also tasted fresh and handmade.
Of course, nobody goes to a dairy restaurant without trying dessert, and though we were already stuffed as full as could be, we mustered up the courage to order the classic baked cheesecake (NIS 36) and the pear and almond tart (NIS 36).
The cheesecake was a combination of sorts of a classic New York style cheesecake, with a dense, creamy baked filling, and an Israeli one, with a sour cream topping and a slightly cakey base.
The pear tart was also delicious, although it was served chilled, when it really should have been room temperature.
Overall, the restaurant puts a strong emphasis on fresh, quality ingredients with minimal fuss.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
12 Mevo Beit David, Jerusalem
Tel: (02) 992-0540