(photo credit: IDAN GROSS)
Knowing a thing or two about the Tel Aviv culinary scene, I can attest to the difficulty of finding a high-concept kosher meat restaurant where everyone knows what they’re doing. One person who has succeeded in establishing such a place is Nadav Netzer, chef of the popular restaurant Meat Kitchen.
Walking into Meat Kitchen, the atmosphere is informal and stylish – warm, busy and surprisingly sophisticated. The decor is dark-sleek and modern with natural earth tones.
The menu offers a little bit of every major kosher meat group, as well as fish and vegetarian options. What ties them all together is the quality of the food, which is based on what’s in season. The tasty dishes are complemented by the finest selection of wines, both local and international.
Our waitress was very knowledgeable about the menu and had many suggestions tailored to our preferences. She took her time explaining details of dishes and drinks.
Before the entrées appeared, we cleansed our palates with a couple of refreshing cocktails. I chose the whiskey sour, while my dining partner tried the more fruity Gin and Green. Both were equally creative and delicious.
To try to absorb the alcohol in our systems, we dug into some hearty appetizers. First up was the thin rib ravioli (NIS 64) in a beef and merlot broth, with cauliflower puree, Jerusalem artichoke confit, portobello mushroom confit, charred shallots, chestnuts and breadcrumbs. It was fantastic. The meat was wonderfully tender, and the ravioli lingered in my mouth in a way that had me relishing the last bite.
This was followed by the red tuna tartare (NIS 64). I’m a sucker for a good ceviche, and this place delivers that. It was an incredible fusion of sweet, spicy and citric. The infusion of watermelon granita, citrus champagne, lime cream and hot pepper helped complement the subtle texture and flavors of the raw fish, which we greatly enjoyed.
We were then served the goose liver carpaccio brulé (NIS 79) with chestnut puree. I usually have a hard time with liver in any form except when it is paired with something sweet. This dish did not disappoint. The iron taste was so subtle that I found myself mounding the liver on the crisp pecan tuile cookie made up of candied coriander seeds, basil fries and gold dust.
Next up was the slow-cooked onions stuffed with lamb (NIS 69). The sweet onions, in a beef broth and pomegranate sauce, was a divine match for the tangy red and meaty ragout. The lamb, generously strewn throughout, was melt-in-your- mouth succulent. This dish was prepared with some serious amore. Perfection.
After a bit of a breather, we were presented with a meat platter (NIS 399) fit for royalty, which included lamb chops, sirloin, entrecôte and boneless chicken thighs. We especially loved the lamb chops. The chops were seasoned to a perfection that did not mask the natural flavor of the lamb. My inner caveman came out when I got to the bones. Cleaning them off was possibly my favorite part of the meal. Simply put, they were perfect. Another standout was the sirloin. Cutting into my sirloin was like cutting through butter – it was an amazing pillowy piece of meaty goodness.
We ordered hot drinks and took a breather. The desserts, if you have any room left, were delightful. We opted for the heavenly decadent chocolate tart (NIS 64), as well as the lemon tart.
My dining partner and I were both very pleased with the food and left very happy and satiated. Meat Kitchen is a great place for a date or family to enjoy a good, flavorful meal.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
65 Yigal Alon Street, Tel Aviv
Tel: (03) 536-4755
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