(photo credit: Courtesy)
The roof of the Mamilla Hotel in downtown Jerusalem probably sports one of the best views of the Old City walls the capital has to offer, so that the decision to open a restaurant there was really a no-brainer. Enter Rooftop - the restaurant's name was also a no-brainer - which, like the ultra-chic boutique hotel subjacent to it, owes its immaculate decor to Italian uber-designer Piero Lissoni.
But besides the advantages of a breathtaking panorama and a pleasing, minimalist aesthetic (the lush, green couches in one corner are the exception), Rooftop also has a fairly comprehensive menu, courtesy of Chef Roi Antebi.
In a recent event at the restaurant I had the pleasure of sampling some of the options on offer. Although everything was quite tasty, one of the dishes that left the best impression on my palate was the first out of the kitchen - a deliciously slurp-worthy lentil soup, which was kept company by a perfectly prepared miniature eggplant sambousek (NIS 41).
Moving on the the main dishes, I was particularly taken with the
butcher's steak, which came with roasted tomatoes and tehina (NIS 86).
The cut, which often tends to be overly chewy, was tender and full of
flavor. Also tasty were the roasted spring chicken with apricots and
dates (NIS 68) and the beef schnitzel with pickled lemons (NIS 74).
For dessert, we were treated to delicious chocolate milles-fevilles (NIS
42) - I couldn't resist a second and third helping - and a selection of
petit fours (NIS 38).
Although Rooftop offers the full range of alcoholic beverages, diners
would be best advised to venture down to the hotel's Mirror Bar, a truly
classy hangout that offers - beyond the chance for some serious
reflection - a sampling of the supremely plush with an exclusive cigar
room. Continuing the Mamilla Hotel's apparent penchant for literal names
is the Winery, a wine bar down the hall from the Mirror Bar - also
worth dipping into.
Amenities aside, though, the Rooftop stands in its own right as one of
the top spots in the city for a date. The fare is fine and the location
Rooftop, at the Mamilla Hotel, Rehov
Hameleh Shlomo 11, Jerusalem, is open Sunday through Thursday from noon
to midnight, Fridays from 11 a.m. till Shabbat (a special brunch menu is
also available), and Saturdays from noon to 11 p.m. (only cold food).
Kosher. For reservations call (02) 548-2230.