Adora is home to creative chef Avi Biton and, when it comes to the many elements of a positive dining experience, the place is a case in point The restaurant is on the small side, warm and welcoming, with wooden furniture. There is an enclosed terrace that is a smoking area, and a long, well-equipped bar with high stools in the main dining room.
Chef Biton wanted my dining companion and me to get a good understanding of the menu the restaurant has to offer, so after we provided a little guidance as to our likes and dislikes, we were brought a parade of tastes. The menu offers a wide variety of culinary styles, taken from Israeli, French, Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines.
We had sourdough house bread with garlic confit and olive tapenade. The bread was thick and fresh, making it irresistible to my dining partner, who normally avoids filling up on bread before a meal.
We tried the felafel stuffed with seared eggplant, herbs and Parmesan cheese (NIS 42), served with a side of sunflower sprout salad. An obsessive eggplant eater, my dining partner always goes for the eggplant starter and was thrilled with this new take on a Middle Eastern classic.
We then tried a blend of chicken and goose liver pâté (NIS 39). A fruit jam and wine jelly comfit, which contrasted perfectly with the tangy creamy taste of the pâté and served with fresh toast, accompanied it.
This was followed by seared red tuna (NIS 46) served on a Japanese salad of carrots, cucumber, kohlrabi, green onion and coriander in a vinaigrette of soy and lemon grass. The fish was somewhat dry but, accompanied by the Japanese salad, it managed to maintain interest for the palate.
At this point, we had to take a breather. After a little walk around the restaurant – which was patronized by a refreshing mix of families, couples and groups – we sat down to indulge ourselves some more For mains we were presented with a sea bream fillet (NIS 89) roasted in a heavy pan, served with roasted tomatoes, bok choy leaves, potato confit and Jerusalem artichoke delicate cream. The dish was generous and fresh. The fish was seasoned beautifully and grilled to perfection. The crunchy skin was an extra plus.
Next up was the beef fillet (NIS 89) in demi-glace and port sauce served with potato puree and buttered vegetables. On the one hand, I really liked the sauce and wanted to smother the meat with it. On the other, the meat tasted so good that I wanted to savor its individual flavor. The mashed vegetable side was superb.
The presentation of the dishes throughout was attractive and almost home style: There was garnish, but Adora didn’t go overboard with it. The service was attentive, friendly and informative.
The desserts were sinfully good.
We shared the Sacher cardamom espresso (NIS 33) – thin rich chocolate pastry topped with warm ganache of white chocolate and espresso decorated with cardamom sauce anglaise, as well as the coconut ice cream (NIS 32) in a chocolate fondue sauce accompanied by a cigar of fresh roasted nuts and seeds. These alone would keep us coming back for more.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
Adora Not kosher 226 Ben-Yehuda Street, Tel Aviv (03) 605-0896.