Olive Leaf at the Tel Aviv Sheraton Hotel serves excellent food in beautiful surroundings.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Some diners have a prejudice against eating in hotel restaurants. To them I say, “Try the Olive Leaf at the Sheraton Tel Aviv.” For kosher diners it doesn’t get much better than this.
After a traumatizing hour-long journey from Netanya to Tel-Aviv – Waze decided we should do the scenic route – we arrived to a beautifully laid corner table looking out over the darkening sea. A large gin and tonic soon restored equanimity and we perused the menu.
While trying to decide what to order, a basket of Moroccan bread appeared together with garlic confit, olives and matbuha, an exceptionally peppery one, which was fine (NIS 26). It was clear that Shimon Maman, the head chef who dropped by to say hello, had been greatly influenced by his North African roots, at least in this dish.
“But I studied and worked in Europe, too,” says the young chef, who has been at the Sheraton for 15 years, “so my food is a blending of both these disciplines.”
For his first course my companion chose his beloved lamb, this time braised in a rich sauce and served with diced sweet potatoes and pickled kohlrabi in a soft bun. It was consumed with evident relish (NIS 65).
I chose a dish of mixed cooked and raw tomatoes of various kinds with black olives, pine nuts and arugula leaves, served on eggplant puree (NIS 45). It was quite a complex dish, offering many different flavors, but the resulting whole was very appetizing and left room for what was to follow.
Three more starters were produced before we could get down to the mains. We tried tortellini in a creamy yellow sauce, which was made with yellow peppers and could have easily passed for dairy; beef carpaccio with garlic and pine nuts with what I can only describe politely as a subtle flavor (NIS 70), and seared tuna steak served with giant pea pods, a coddled egg and chipotle aioli, the whole producing a successful combination of tastes and textures (NIS 75).
Eventually, after what seemed a large amount of food, we reached the main course. My companion chose an entrecôte steak, medium rare, which he pronounced “melt-in-the-mouth.” To his total delight it came with a large marrow bone full of the utterly delicious but extremely fatty innards. Little mounds, served on crusty bread, with a sprinkling of salt – really a true delicacy.
The dish came with a green salad with asparagus and endive, a forlorn attempt to counteract the cholesterol-laden serving.
My chicken breast was served with tiny diced fried potatoes and thinly sliced pickled carrots (NIS 90). It was a very satisfying dish that didn’t pile on the calories.
The wine was a Recanati Cabernet Sauvignon (2016), a versatile wine which complemented the variety of foods.
Finally, to be able to give a balanced report, we were obliged to sample two of the several desserts on offer. We tried a chocolate volcano and a lemon sorbet on meringue with an orange-flavored macaroon (NIS 40 each). Needless to say, both were superb and made a fitting end to an outstanding meal.The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
115 Hayarkon Street, Tel Aviv
Tel: (03) 521-1111 or (03) 521-9300
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