(photo credit: SELLE ELLE)
While Ra’anana is not short of kosher eateries, Luzzatto makes a welcome addition to the plethora of other choices. Located on the main drag, Ahuza, with plenty of nearby parking, it’s a smokehouse specializing in a variety of smoked grilled meats, although non-carnivores will find fish and vegetarian options too.
Stepping into the warm well-lit restaurant from the cold outside, the first thing that hits you is the scent of smoked meat. We chose a table and looked around at the décor, high-ceilings, raw concrete walls and a wooden parquet floor that had seen better days.
The laminated menu in English offered a wide choice and I could not find even one spelling mistake or blooper. English seems to be the lingua franca there although Hebrew speakers are just as welcome.
Eschewing the offer of focaccia with dips, we went straight to our starters. We decided to share a plate of merguez which are spicy sausages served with a bean stew, sauerkraut and garlic confit (NIS 42). They were a very meaty pair of bangers although it was impossible to identify which meat, beef or lamb, because of the strong spices which are traditional with this North African dish. The accompaniments were notable too – a red bean stew which was reminiscent of cholent, pink sauerkraut which was nice and vinegary, garlic confit, and aioli sauce made from horseradish and mustard. In total a dish of several very pungent flavors, a great prelude for what was to follow.
For the main course we shared the tasting menu (NIS 290) which meant we got to try four different kinds of meat – asado, pargit, lamb ribs and beef. Everything was doused in a sweet sauce, which somewhat reduced the impact of the smoked meat. The meat was tender, chewy and delicious and the side dishes were even better – wedges of roast potato and a coleslaw just like grandma used to make, plus a fairly standard but fresh green salad.
Four dipping sauces also found their way to the table – chimichurri, aioli, barbecue and chipotle aioli – all home-made and a welcome addition.
We each drank a glass of La Citadelle Merlot blend – a rich red wine with beaded bubbles winking at the brim (thanks, dear John Keats). A glass of this is NIS 38, soft drinks are NIS 13 and beers NIS 26-28.
For dessert, we each chose our habitual flavors – lemon for me, chocolate for him. The lemon cream with raspberry coulis, a kiss of meringue and berries sounded great but was nowhere near lemony enough. (NIS 32). The name was an imaginative translation which I liked. Meringue in Hebrew is neshika
, “kiss.” Next time, more lemon please.
On the other hand, the chocolate bar was perfect, a mousse-like filling covered in thick dark chocolate, served with a chocolate ice cream which was barely sweet at all. (NIS 32).
The service throughout was solicitous and we very much enjoyed our visit to Luzzatto. Luzzatto
Ahuza St. 77, Ra’anana
Phone: 09-890-0081 or 053-793-1524
Sun.-Thur. 12 noon-11:30 p.m.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
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