House of Katerina Wine Bar.
(photo credit: PR)
Tel Aviv’s Sarona Complex has a host of trendy café chains and modern restaurants to match the atmosphere. House of Katerina, a more subdued wine bar, is one of the newer eateries in the area. It is the perfect spot for wine enthusiasts and those looking for a mellow night with conversation.
One has the choice of sitting in the outside section or descending down a few stairs to the indoor section.
Stepping inside, the space itself is otherworldly – somewhere between a bunker and a medieval castle. The ambience is rustic, dimly lit and great for groups.
Our capable waiter was that rare breed of server that comes across as incredibly caring, yet without trying to inject himself into your evening.
He is as accommodating and friendly as you need him to be. He helped us find just the right wine to start with.
Opting for red, we went with the Barkan Assemblage. Full flavored yet velvety smooth, it was delicious and easy to drink.
At a wine bar, you often expect the accoutrement of food to seem secondary at best. Here, however, the chew-worthy treats served as a delightful balance to the flavorful wines.
We began with the roasted beetroot with creme fraiche and roasted nuts (NIS 26). I‘m a huge fan of beets, so this was calling out to me. The salad was plated beautifully and was very tasty. It was something nice and refreshing to start off the meal.
This was followed by a tabouleh salad (NIS 34), which was incredibly fresh and a perfect blend of ingredients. There’s something about all that fresh parsley and citrus that does amazing things to chopped tomato.
We then tried the Spanish anchovies bruschetta with softboiled egg, radish and green onion (NIS 38). I don’t really like anchovies and was a little startled when I saw them, but they actually added the perfect amount of saltiness.
Our waiter then presented us with two glasses of the Barkan special reserve Petit Verdot. If you are into the full-bodied complex reds, this one is for you.
We continued on with the meal and were presented with the truffle polenta baked with cherry tomatoes and pecorino cheese (NIS 38). The polenta had just the right consistency of creaminess, and the tomatoes and pecorino added a great flavor. The dish still makes my mouth water just thinking about it.
This was followed by slices of beef brisket served with cucumber salad, homemade coleslaw, jalapeno and a warm bun (NIS 46). The meat was tender and tasty.
After a bit of a breather, it was on to dessert. First up was the cheesecake topped with raspberry juice (NIS 36). Overall, it was good.
A little too sweet, but thank goodness I was sharing. This was followed by tahini ice cream – vanilla ice cream, pure tahini topped with silan and shavings of halva (NIS 28). And oh, did it hit the spot! The people who work there are knowledgeable yet unpretentious.
They leave you alone to enjoy your wine instead of rushing you through the experience. With all this in mind, it felt like a really good place to unwind after a long week of work, as well as a little rest stop before hitting the city for a fun night. Definitely will go back again.The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
House of Katerina
17 Rav Aluf David Elazar, Tel Aviv
Tel: (03) 560-6557