(photo credit: Courtesy)
‘I would kill for a good steak right now.” That thought crosses the minds of many a meat lover often enough. The idea of a big, juicy steak to dig into is a pleasant one, indeed. Unfortunately, really good steaks are hard to come by in Israel. But the good news is that Artmeat, a new kosher restaurant at the edge of the Diamond Exchange compound in Ramat Gan, has come to our rescue.
Situated in a strategic spot overlooking the Ayalon Highway, Artmeat is misleading at first. Its design is classic and serious. It advertises itself as a super-kosher place, bringing to mind some unpleasant memories of overcooked food with no taste or color. However, it is anything but these things. It surprises the customer with its well-prepared, fresh food and pleasant atmosphere. When my husband and I visited the place last Thursday, it quickly filled up with families and couples, celebrating events or simply enjoying each other’s company. The air was full of cheerful chatter in different languages, no doubt helped by the excellent wines on offer.
As we were very hungry and could have killed for some great steaks, we hurried to order. We were offered a wonderful white Riesling wine to get us started. We are not big drinkers, though, so we settled for two glasses (at NIS 24 each) instead of a bottle.
The menu had many enticing starters in it, with something there for everyone – a vegetarian dish of roasted eggplant in tehina, fish ceviche, Buffalo wings and made-on-the- premises merguez sausages. There was also the soup of the day, which that evening was chickpea. My husband opted for the veal medallions (NIS 52), which came on a bed of brown lentils in red wine sauce. The lentils were not overcooked, which meant they kept their crispness and bite. The sweetish sauce complemented them perfectly. I had the chicken liver pate (NIS 44), which was supplemented with onion confit and toasted bread. The pate was soft and comforting, and the caramelized onions in the confit were just the thing to go with it on toast. What a joy! The two dishes were delicious and well seasoned, fresh and fulfilling and left us happy but wanting more. We came for real meat, and we were not giving up now.
That’s when the menu became really wild, with three different sections of main courses to choose from – and the choice was not easy. We considered different items, such as the grilled salmon, the lamb shoulder casserole with root vegetables and several others. Eventually, we decided to select what we had come for. My husband ordered a prime rib dish of 650 grams of entrecote (NIS 164), cooked to medium level. I went for the more modest cut of a 300-gram entrecote steak (NIS 116), also medium. All meats come with a choice of several side dishes, such as wild rice, mashed potatoes, French fries or a salad. My husband had the salad, while I chose the mashed potatoes.
The meat was all that we dreamt of and more. It was succulent, peppery
and cooked to perfection, just as we asked. Forget about the dried up
meat you sometimes end up with in other kosher restaurants. This was the
real deal. Together with the well-seasoned salad and the mashed
potatoes, which had fried onions mixed in and were as satisfying as any
Jewish mashed potato dish should be, the main course kept us smiling all
the way through.
For dessert, we ordered the hot chocolate soufflé with vanilla ice cream
(NIS 32) which, although very tasty, was evidently parve, which is
always a problem with kosher desserts.
Throughout the meal, the service was quiet and patient, pleasant and
polite. Dinner at Artmeat is not cheap, but for a special night out it
certainly provides a very enjoyable experience.
Artmeat, 1 Jabotinsky St. Ramat Gan, (03)7526222, Sun- Thursday 12 pm - last cutomer.