Top 5: Most romantic restaurants in Tel Aviv

Food enthusiasts at Taste TLV give their verdict on the best that the Tel Aviv dining scene has to offer.

By RACHEL BRENDER
February 13, 2012 16:11
Dallal

Dallal. (photo credit: dallal.co.il)

 
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Rachel is the CEO of TasteTLV, the ultimate culinary guide for dining in Tel Aviv.

Often overlooked as one of the world’s most romantic cities, Tel Aviv subtly sets the stage for nights filled with passion and romance. The summer months tantalize the senses with a bevy of outdoor celebrations of love and life. But when the warm season slowly transitions into a Mediterranean winter and the city moves inside, proprietors light the candles on small tables meant for two and shine light heaters upon diners, draping patrons with a warm golden glow.

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As many people around the globe celebrate February 14 as a holiday of love and romance, we here in Tel Aviv effortlessly attune our winter dining experiences to cozy cavernous restaurants, outdoor gardens glowing with soft lighting, and elegant restaurants with world renowned chefs.

With a burgeoning culinary scene, Tel Aviv offers up many options for a romantic night out in the city. Here are our choices for the top five romantic restaurants in Tel Aviv:

1. Dallal

Fine dining at Dallal (dallal.co.il)

True to Neve Tzedek restaurant fashion, Dallal restaurant is snugly tucked into an unassuming corner on Shabazi street. One peek inside the restaurant’s lush front garden offering outdoor seating on white cast iron garden chairs whets the sensory appetite for what is yet to come.



Dallal’s attention to pampering their patrons with the very best is sure to evoke a romantic chord with diners. Boasting a menu crafted from the freshest local produce and ingredients, the food here is both beautifully executed and rich in flavor. Starting the evening with shared appetizers is the perfect way to begin the Dallal evening. You may want to try the highly recommended tuna shashimi with vinagrette and smooth wasabi avacado mousse, or the porcini mushrooms with balsalmic cream. Entrees for a romantic dinner course include rich meat dishes, oven baked fish and fillets, and pastas topped with savory sauces.

End your night by taking a stroll in Neve Tzedek and enjoying the mild winter breeze, coming from the sea. When your stomach is full and your heart is happy, what else could be better.

Romantic touch: Dallal offers a beautiful pampering brunch menu on Friday and Saturday for those looking to cozy up in the daylight. Treat your loved one to a feast fit for royalty.

10 Shabazi, Tel Aviv
(057) 943-9499
Hours: Sunday to Saturday, 9 a.m. till 1 a.m.

http://www.dallal.info/restIndex3.asp?pageId=31
Not kosher

2. Yoetzer Wine Bar

For the past 13 years, Yoezer Wine Bar has been transporting couples to the era of the Ottoman Empire. Converted from a 19th century wine cellar erected from dark stone arches, candelabras dripping with wax light the night for an unforgettable experience. The moment you arrive, a hostess will guide you through a cavernous room with uneven floors, and cave-like walls sprawling up to a vaulted roof. Once you take a seat in an ancient dining room chair, your eyes begin to adjust to the dim lighting as you take in the setting.

The Provençal French menu was constructed by one of Israel's best-known gourmet chefs, Shaul Evron. The food menu focuses on simplicity and excellence, while using fresh quality ingredients to make classic French and Italian dishes.

Meals at Yoetzer are rich and satisfying to the core. Place your order for one of their legendary steaks, or the "40 eggs-yolks Pasta", which is served with Botardo (a Turkish delicacy of dried fish roe). A lighter, yet still decadent option is the Crodo, a mouthwatering serving of veal tartar with fresh truffles. To accompany your meal, the restaurant is most well known for its excellent selection of wines from all over the globe. Yoezer is said to have one of the most extensive and finest wine menus in Israel and includes a selection from Burgundy, imported exclusively for the restaurant.

Something about watching the candles flicker amongst the cellar walls, blackened by the soot from years of burning wax, while sipping on a delicious glass of wine, leaves a lovely imprint for years to come.

Romantic touch: As you dine in the restaurant lit only by candle light, it truly feels as if you and your loved one are the only people there. Without any distractions, you can focus on each other and relax into the glow of the night.

2 Ish-Habira St. Jaffa (near the Clock's Square)
(03) 683-9115
Hours: Sunday to Thursday 12:30 p.m. till 1 a.m., Friday to Sat 11:a.m. till 1 a.m.
Not kosher

3. Catit Insert 

The height of sophistication (catit.co.il)

Celebrating a special occasion can be a task when you are trying to find the perfect restaurant to match the momentous feelings you have around the experience. At Catit, your every desire for pleasing that special someone is met with style and decadence.

At Catit you have the option of choosing from a mouth watering menu of appetizers and main courses, or let renowned chef Meir Adoni make the choices for you in a decadent five course meal. The five course tasting menu is expensive, yet worth its weight in shekels. Piquing your taste buds with inventive flavor infusions as you and your dining partner marvel at the exquisite presentation, will be sure to impress even the most distinguishing critic.

Classically trained head chef Meir Adoni brings his culinary influence from the Cordon Bleu to the tables of Tel Aviv. His experience cooking in renowned restaurants from Paris to Australia to New York, has certainly influenced the menu at Catit. The restaurant captures the essence of Tel Aviv coolness with a note of French Country style. The large dining room is spacious with a perfectly balanced ambiance of lush details with crisp design. As Meir Adoni’s flagship restaurant in Tel Aviv, it’s clear that the entire experience from the food to the table top is a labor of love.

On a beautiful spring or summer day, try Catit for lunch. They offer lunch specials which you can enjoy in the simple and elegant garden setting.

Romantic Touch: Catit offers Tel Avivian’s a taste of European fine dining with a punch. Nowhere else can you find such an adventurous menu with the gorgeous presentation to match. If you or your loved one are attuned to artistic presentation then the plates alone at this establishment will pique your senses.

Helchal HaTalmud
(03) 510-7001
http://www.catit.co.il/
Not kosher


4. Noa Bistro

Chef Nir Zook is renowned for his restaurant flair in Jaffa, and his culinary delights bring Tel Avivians into the old port city to get a taste of his creations. As is noted with all of our romantic recommendations, Noa Bistro offers a combination of tantalizing tastes in a beautiful setting.

Coming to Noa bistro on a date for the first time feels like taking your beau into a secret garden brimming with life. Tables are set up in the restaurant between two retaining walls - nestling you in a valley of green ivy and flower buds that cascade down the brick walls. The extensive drinks menu offers inventive cocktails, and the barmen are so well trained that they’re happy to mix you a drink even if it’s not on the menu.

Appetizers at Noa Bistro are moderately priced, and I highly recommend sharing a few with your companion before the main course. The eggplant with local Labane is divine, as is the smoked salmon appetizer dish. Main courses range from the ever-popular ravioli with sage butter and white wine sauce, to noteworthy meat and fish dishes.

Romantic touch: Noa Bistro also offers one of the city’s finest brunch menus. Taking a date to the port of Jaffa for a lovely day by the beach, and settling into the restaurant for the recommended “Chef’s morning” brunch will having your taste buds singing in delight all day.

14 Ha Zorfim’, Jaffa
Hours: 9 a.m.until last customer (breakfast is served until 12:15 p.m.) Business menu Sunday-Thursday noon till 5 p.m.
(03) 518-4668 Ex. 2
http://www.cordelia.co.il/article.php?ID_Ctg=14

5. Joz v’Loz

An unassuming ambiance paired with homey yet eclectic decorations of assorted pots and pans, Joz v’Loz is perfect for a romantic meal. You can choose to sit in the garden area cozily tucked in between two structural building walls, or take the experience inside to the dimly lit restaurant. The focal point inside is a large open kitchen glowing from the fireplace as dishes are inventively created for the night’s guests.

A fresh flower upon each table and the glow of a candle, speaks immediately to the simplicity and freshness of the restaurant. When you receive your menu, be sure to notice the love poem incorporated in the text. If you aren’t a fluent Hebrew reader, your waitress will explain the menu to you and describe the specials of the day.

Since freshness is of utmost importance at Joz v’Loz, you can expect a meal that will awaken your senses and encourage you to share a bite with your dinner date. Whether you fancy the hand made fine grain couscous with seasonal vegetables, or their famous fish kebabs, there is a choice for every palate at this restaurant.

Romantic touch: I recommend starting off the meal with the house red wine as you take in your surroundings. There’s nothing sweeter than a little buzz and a laid back feel as you unwind in the evening with the apple of your eye.

51 Yehuda Halevi
(03) 560-6385
Not kosher

Rachel Brender is the CEO of TasteTLV and has a passion for spice and flavor. She enjoys cooking in her home and creating new recipes inspired from International chefs.

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