Milgo and Milbar.
(photo credit: PR)
It is hard to imagine a more appropriate place for a fine dining restaurant than the intersection where Tel Aviv’s iconic Rothschild Boulevard dead ends into Habima Square. It is here – fittingly enough, in a classic Bauhaus building – that chefs Or Michaeli and Moti Titman, both with Michelin star experience, have made their mark on the city’s culinary scene. More than two years after opening, the popular Milgo and Milbar followed in the footsteps of most of its counterparts and introduced a business lunch menu, bringing its brand of “modern, precise cuisine” to a larger audience.
Launched six months ago, the weekday afternoon business lunch menu joins the restaurant’s evening and weekend menus, offering an appetizer plus main course for the price of the main course alone. It is an abbreviated version of the longer menus but still offers plenty to satisfy the appetite.
On a cold day at the end of December, we were handed a business menu bearing the heading “Summer 2016,” as well as an alcohol and wine list featuring drinks to cool you down. Among the five specialty cocktails mentioned was Hemingway’s mojito: Bacardi black, Bacardi white, ginger syrup and mint, with a lemon garnish and a thin slice of ginger taller than the small tumbler in which the drink was served. The refreshing drink struck a nice balance between the mint and the ginger, indeed making us wish for warmer weather.
As we sipped our drinks, we were served complimentary sourdough bread with an excellent spread of roasted pumpkin and olive oil.
The food menu at Milgo and Milbar is predominantly fish and seafood, as well as vegetables, sourced organically for the most part. The main courses include one beef and two veal dishes.
Our first appetizer was the fish carpaccio with crispy ginger threads and garnishes of mint leaves and green chili pepper. The extremely fresh white sea was bathed in a delicious marinade of lemon juice oil, olive oil and caramelized ginger, while the slender threads of crisp ginger were as tasty as they were unusual.
Adding to the splendid interplay of flavors and textures were sections of red grapefruit, a seasonal replacement for the nectarine that was still listed on the menu.
Our second starter was the salmon confit with crême fraîche, cucumber, red onion and grated horseradish. The dish was characterized by a judicious use of the horseradish – just enough to enhance without overpowering – and a white butter sauce that was so good, even served cold, that we mopped it up with the soft sourdough bread.
Among the main courses was one I remembered fondly from the menu of the late lamented Adora bistro: grouper head pasta in fish stock, coriander and chili pepper (NIS 99). This hearty dish of rigatoni and flakes of fish seasoned with Asian piquancy was especially satisfying on a chilly afternoon.
The butcher’s cut (NIS 99) stood out as the lone meat main course, and the succulent steak was certainly a worthy representative of the genre. It was a accompanied by al dente vegetables, although once again we were a bit surprised by the unexpected substitutions.
We had already made our dessert selections (NIS 38) from the three listed on the menu when the waitress informed us that none of them were available and were being replaced by two completely different options.
Fortunately, one of them was the chocolate nemesis – a wedge of flourless cake covered with a thick layer of rich ganache and served with a generous dollop of whipped cream. A real chocolate lover’s delight.
Clearly, Milgo and Milbar’s halfyear experiment with its business menu is a success, and one that is bound to expose its chefs’ culinary talents to a wider audience.The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
Milgo and Milbar
142 Rothschild Blvd., Tel Aviv