Brunch at Hotel de ville.
(photo credit: DAN LEV)
The Parisian-style bistro Hotel de Ville (The Jerusalem Post, July 25, 2018) that opened on Dizengoff in the middle of last year has made just about every list in the Hebrew media of the best restaurants of 2018. After several months of being open only evenings, the restaurant has now started serving brunch on the weekends.
The brunch menu will soon have its own list of specialty cocktails. In the meantime, there are still more than enough to choose from among the 12 on the regular menu. As an inducement to try one, our waiter made us an offer we couldn’t refuse: taste the one he recommends, and if we don’t like it, the one we choose would be on the house.
The brunch food menu consists of the same categories as the daily menu – entrées, mains, sides and salads – plus a section titled petit déjeuner (French for breakfast) comprising eight dishes (NIS 48-126). While these are nominally served until 5 p.m., some are liable to sell out earlier.
As we waited for our brunch dishes, we started with an appropriate entrée: blinis topped with salmon eggs, gravlax and crême fraîche (NIS 42). These blinis were quite different – fluffy, light potato pancakes that are nothing like latkes – but the combination was outstanding. Unfortunately, the three tiny discs and accompaniments were gone in just a few bites.
Our two petit déjeuner choices were cocotte vichyssoise and Benedict de mer. In the former, the classic leek and potato soup was actually a sauce for two poached eggs, resulting in a hearty dish that we mopped up with excellent brioche to the very last drop.
The latter was the familiar eggs Benedict with extremely fresh seafood: crystal shrimp and blue crab on our day, it could be langoustines on yours. Either way, you are in for a treat.
There is a final brunch dish we ordered as our dessert: pain perdu – French toast with fresh strawberries and whipped cream, drizzled with vanilla balsamic. Not surprisingly, the whole was the sum of all of its delicious components.
We washed it down with an amazing dessert cocktail: caffe fou (NIS 36) – Hawaiian coffee, Irish whiskey, Demerara, cream and nutmeg. All in all, Hotel de Ville’s brunch is a welcome addition to the genre.
The grande dame of Neveh Tzedek
Over the years, Dallal has honed its brunch into one of the most popular in town. The weekend daytime menu runs the gamut from traditional brunch dishes to main courses suitable for lunch or even dinner.
The restaurant’s brunch cocktails are the four most common, so we turned to the 12 specialty cocktails (NIS 46-58) on the regular alcohol menu for inspiration. We enjoyed two cocktails with fanciful names: Orient Express and Flower Power.
At the heart of the brunch menu are no fewer than seven classic egg-centric brunch dishes (NIS 46-65). From this plethora of options we settled on the Popeye: poached eggs with fresh spinach leaves and a distinctive Jerusalem bagel that is a cross between the sesame-encrusted east Jerusalem roll and a flaky croissant. Drenched in a rich sauce of Parmesan cream and truffle, this egg dish was one of the best I have had in recent memory.
There are two light lunch dishes that work very well for brunch: som tam ceviche, raw fish on a sour and spicy crispy green papaya salad with coriander, yuzu and crushed nuts (NIS 58), and hearts of lettuce salad with cucumber, pomelo, slivered almonds and bouche cheese in a citrus vinaigrette (NIS 58).
Once again, French toast is the ideal sweet finale to a great brunch. The Dallal version -- a French toast sandwich with ricotta cheese and mascarpone, garnished with a purple flower -- tastes as good as it looks.
Hotel de Ville
Dizengoff St. 230, Tel Aviv
Shabazi St. 10, Tel Aviv
The writer was a guest of the restaurants.
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