Don't pass on the pasta

The Italian dairy restaurant Montefiore in Jerusalem offers diners a spectacular view and a romantic atmosphere.

By ARLENE FREEDBERG
May 17, 2012 18:39
2 minute read.
Ravioli dish

Ravioli dish 370. (photo credit: courtesy)

 
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Named after Sir Moses Montefiore and located in Mishkenot Sha’ananim, the Jerusalem neighborhood he developed in the 1860s, the Italian dairy restaurant Montefiore offers diners a spectacular view of the Old City and the Montefiore Windmill, as well as a quiet and romantic atmosphere (it’s not for children).

There is a also lovely balcony where dining outside while overlooking Jerusalem is truly something special.

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However, the menu offers a selection of items that vary in taste and presentation, making this restaurant one that could be a hit-or-miss dining experience.

We were seated quickly and were immediately offered a cold glass of white wine of our choosing. Warm and fresh bread sticks followed with simple but tasty pesto and sun-dried tomato dips.

There were two menu highlights of the evening – the stuffed fig appetizer (NIS 58) and the mushroom ravioli (NIS 78) main course. Growing up with a fig tree in my backyard, I don’t recall ever wanting to eat more figs.

This time, I couldn’t stop. Stuffed with goat cheese and walnuts and covered in a cream and Parmesan sauce, the figs were delicious. The presentation was elegant and appealing. For anyone who has even a mild sweet tooth, this item is a must.

And if you like pasta and mushrooms, I highly recommend that a visit to Montefiore includes the mushroom ravioli. Stuffed with porcini mushrooms and covered in cream sauce and porcini butter, every bite was more flavorful than the previous one. I can still taste the fine flavors of the large pieces of homemade ravioli, the rich sauce and the perfectly cooked mushrooms that came together to make this such a memorable dish.

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We also ordered the Montefiore salad (NIS 58) to begin the meal, but it didn’t live up to the restaurant’s esteemed namesake. And the salmon fillet (NIS 110) we ordered was a bit undercooked and soft, although it was nicely presented with fresh snap peas and tasty potatoes in Dijon butter.

Usually one of the best parts of an Italian dairy restaurant is the dessert.

In this case, it was the most disappointing. We started out with the cheesecake and the chocolate mousse but quickly sent back the chocolate mousse, as it did not look like it was “just made.” We swapped it for the creme brulee, which also did not seem that fresh. But the cheesecake, which had a coconut rim with a graham cracker base, was good.

While chef Meir Ben-Arush has a handle on creating menu choices that are unique and delicious (and seasonal), the choices are somewhat limited.

The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and is also available for events.

The writer was a guest of the restaurant.

Montefiore Restaurant
Kosher
Yemin Moshe, under the windmill
Jerusalem (02) 623-2928

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