A culinary jewel in Tel Aviv offering delightful Italian cuisine in a charming setting, Mel & Michelle has become a favorite among Italian food aficionados. 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.
Run by chef Nir Wayman, Mel & Michelle is one of the finest options in town for an Italian dinner with a Mediterranean twist. The menu offers homemade pasta, meat dishes and seafood.
As no Italian meal is complete without a good bottle of wine, Mel & Michelle has an impressive wine list that includes some of the best reds and whites that Israel and Italy have to offer.
We had a chance to sample a wide array of dishes from the enticing menu. Upon sitting down at our table, we were greeted by the house bread (NIS 15). This crisp rendition of divine dough was accompanied by local olive oil touched with a reduced balsamic vinegar that was sweet and tasty. We began our meal with the house gazpacho (NIS 23). The freshness of the tomatoes grabbed our attention immediately. It was a touch spicy, with a wonderful interplay of salty and sweet flavors.
This was followed by arrancini (NIS 23) – Sicilian risotto balls filled with peas, fresh mint and Parmesan. It was fantastic. I am a cheese fiend, and the flavors when I bit into the gooey, crunchy concoction were a real surprise.
The arrancini were tender and golden brown and deep-fried to crisp perfection.
Next up was the vitello tonnato (NIS 64). I’d only had this dish once before and had found it disappointing. Mel & Michelle’s rendition, however, made me want to steal the plate. The veal was delicately sliced, the accompanying tuna sauce was delightfully creamy, while the crunch of capers added just enough chewiness.
One of our main courses was the Parisian gnocchi (NIS 68), a cheesy dough pan seared until golden brown, served in a truffle cream. The gnocchi was exceptional, and the sauce was so good that we used the rest of the house bread to sop up what remained on the plate.
Next up was an oven-roasted corvina fillet (NIS 138), served with an enticing assortment of roasted vegetables. The fish was seasoned beautifully and grilled to perfection, with crispy skin and delicate white flesh. This was a delicious dish with plenty of aromas and flavors that sat harmoniously on the palate.
To finish off the meal with something sweet, we shared the crepe with mascarpone and fresh strawberries (NIS 36) and a wonderfully creamy dark chocolate ganache. Both were especially good.
Mel & Michelle has carefully kept an old world atmosphere while serving top-of-the-line meals. So when you’re looking to combine a gourmet meal with elegant atmosphere and nearly faultless service, you’ll find that Mel & Michelle has it covered.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
Mel & Michelle
155 Ben-Yehuda St., Tel Aviv
Tel: (03) 529-3232