(photo credit: Courtesy)
Rosemarine, the long-established fish and meat restaurant on Netanya’s seafront, has as much of an international flavor as the city’s population itself. Fish and chips for the Brits, great steaks for the Americans, vegetarian options and a very impressive range of choices of other fish dishes if the English staple is not to your liking.
One balmy evening recently I was invited with my dining companion to savor the fare in this popular eatery established more than 15 years ago on the Netanya seafront.
Inside the restaurant it is cool and airy, but we opted for a table outside where the sea breezes dispelled any vestiges of the day’s sultry heat. The view is breathtaking, with a tiny crescent moon glinting between the tall old pines along the promenade while the red ball of the sun descends majestically into the ocean.
We began our meal with the salad selection and were amazed to discover how many different tastes and flavors can be classified under the word “salad.”
There were many different starters from a wide ethnic range of tastes. Cod’s roe(ikra), egg and mayonnaise, pickled carrot slices, roasted eggplant with tomato, beetroot heavily flavored with cumin, Turkish salad, potato salad with herbs, tehina and a few slices of herring. All were good, and not over-spiced. The only salad we didn’t like was the sliced zucchini in mayonnaise, possibly because we thought they were mushrooms until we tasted them. (NIS 17 per person).
Thick pea soup doesn’t sound right for a hot August evening, but we decided to try it anyway and were not sorry. Served very hot, the bright green soup was topquality comfort food, perfectly seasoned and downed with relish (NIS 15).
As this is primarily a fish restaurant, I chose as a main course the sea-bass while my dining companion plumped for a steak. The fish was superb, two very fresh fillets, lightly flavored with salt and black pepper, and cooked to just the right point. The lemon/garlic sauce enhanced it even more. (NIS 101).
The steak vanished in its entirety, except for some minute bits of fat, and was pronounced excellent – tender, medium rare and juicy (NIS 102).
We were rather taken aback by the accompanying potatoes, described as ‘baked’ in the menu. We were both expecting the old spud to turn up in its jacket, but got instead wedges of sweet and regular potato, served in a cup. One great bonus was the garnish of mustard and cress that came with the meat – an almost forgotten taste from the past.
The desserts were beautifully presented and a feast for the eye as well as the palate. My choice, mini-pavlova with forest fruits, was a crispy meringue with a chewy middle, filled with cream and a nicely tart berry mixture.
It was such a luscious blend of tastes one almost didn’t notice that the cream was pareve. (NIS 32).
My companion chose the chocolate cake, a mousselike creation doused in thick chocolate sauce with vanilla ice cream. (NIS 32). Judging by the way this was consumed; it was clearly a great dessert, although he wisely ignored the blobs of “cream.”
With what is basically unpretentious and somewhat pedestrian food, we decided that wine was not appropriate and drank beer and lemonade instead.
With its prime position on the Nitsa promenade, Rosemarine, with its 15 years of seniority, remains a favorite Netanya landmark.
Rosemarine Sderot Nitsa 8, Netanya (09) 832-3322 Hours of Opening: Sunday to Thursday, noon to 5 p.m.The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
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