Passion for pasta
By SHAWN RODGERS
Tranquilla in downtown Tel Aviv is classy, contemporary and kosher.
Situated in the heart of Tel Aviv, Tranquilla is a kosher Italian restaurant for
the contemporary city dweller. The interior is much like the restaurant itself –
classy, warm and Italian style, yet modern. A bar functions as the centerpiece
of the restaurant, and customers can either sit there for a quick drink or at
one of the surrounding tables, inside or outside, for a sit-down meal. Given the
choice, I would always go for the latter.
Our knowledgeable waiter wanted
my dining companion and me to get a good understanding of what 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 food here is not to be
missed. Our meal opened with some fantastic starters. The crispy focaccia
(NIS 29) was well seasoned with sea salt, fresh oregano, olive oil and garlic –
perfect for dipping into the accompanying olive paste. We also opted for the
green asparagus (NIS 36) with butter, white wine and Parmesan, as well as the
baked market vegetables (NIS 33). Both were equally delicious. This was followed
by fish carpaccio (NIS 43) – the fish sliced so thinly, it seemed to melt in our
mouths. The mushroom risotto (NIS 39) was absolutely fantastic and came with
slices of whole mushrooms mixed in. Though risotto is not the featured
dish at this restaurant, it was one of the highlights of our meal.
dishes were prepared with much attention to detail and with a goal to surprise
and please. The mission was soundly accomplished, as each dish was unique and
fresh and full of character.
For mains, we began with torn pasta, beets
and blue cheese (NIS 65). The pasta itself, being fresh and not store bought,
was creamy and bursting with flavor.
This was followed by seared corvina
(NIS 110) placed on pasta pappardelle. The seared fish was expertly cooked to a
very pleasing texture – flaky, firm yet yielding. And just when we though it
couldn’t get any better, we were presented with artichoke and sage tortellini.
It was deliciously sweet and creamy, exactly as our friendly waiter had
described. This was my favorite dish by far.
Then came dessert.
Tranquilla is well known for its homemade ice cream (NIS 24), which was
accompanied by a devilishly indulgent chocolate pie, and it did not disappoint.
My dining partner, Rebecca H, joyfully proclaimed that this was one of the best
desserts she had ever tasted. This was followed by a deeply espressoflavored and
mascarpone-rich tiramisu (NIS 31), which was just as good as it sounds.
highly impressed with Tranquilla. The service was fantastic – the staff are
incredibly fast, helpful and patient. I recommend it to anyone who loves food –
Italian or not. It also serves as a destination for a thoroughly enjoyable night
out in Tel Aviv. I’m already planning my next trip.
The writer was a
guest of the restaurant.
1 Mikveh Israel, Tel Aviv