Israel boasts more than a dozen boutique breweries scattered around the country, such as the Golan Brewery in Katzrin, the Malka Brewery in the western Upper Galilee and the Negev Brewery in Kiryat Gat. And more are soon to come.

Some say Israelis are acquiring a more sophisticated palate, some say that the rise of imported premiums is changing the way beer is perceived, while others assert that the country is simply mimicking the United States, where the microbrewery phenomenon started in the late 1970s.

Those strictly looking for beer in Tel Aviv can head to Porter & Sons. Opened three years ago, this neighborhood pub has more than 70 varieties of beers, which are perfectly paired with local dishes and appetizers.

Dark wood, brick walls, antiquated light fixtures with ceiling fans and a very long bar with an impressive row of oldfashioned wooden beer-tap handles come together nicely in this spacious restaurant, where beer placards and mirrors make up much of the decor.

The menu varies from salads and cheese plates to fish & chips, homemade sausages and BBQ spare ribs. Aside from its set menu, Porter also offers a wide variety of specials that change every week.

My dining companion and I began with the fresh mozzarella salad (NIS 42). It was a summery combination of leaves, mozzarella and strawberries, with a subtle flavor that was slightly sweetened. It was a big hit with both of us. This was followed by delicious sauteed mushrooms (NIS 38) in olive oil, garlic, oregano, sherry and white wine, as well as a very tasty herring (NIS 36) in beer marinade, served on toast with sour cream.

Next up was an artichoke risotto (NIS 42) with mint and lemon zest. Though risotto is not the featured dish at this pub, it was one of the highlights of our meal.

To quench our thirst in between starters, we sampled a bottle of Weston’s Old Rosie Cider, as well as some Brooklyn Summer Ale. Both were fantastic.

It was difficult to choose a main course from the tempting variety. We finally settled on the rib eye steak (NIS 124) and the sirloin (NIS 98). Both were done to perfection, medium-rare, tender and full of flavor, with the side dishes providing excellent accompaniment.

Porter & Sons is a perfect afterhours place to go, no matter what angle you look at it. The crowd always changes, and the beer keeps flowing. I have the distinct feeling that Porter, with its delightful atmosphere, good food and drink, will be around for a long time to come.

The writer was a guest of the restaurant.

Porter & Sons
Not kosher
14 Ha’arbaa Street, Tel Aviv
(03) 624-4355





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