A table at Herbert Samuel restaurant at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Herzlyia.
(photo credit: AFIK GABAI)
Herbert Samuel, the signature restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Herzliya, is widely considered one of the most celebrated kosher dining destinations in central Israel. Helmed by Chef Mor Cohen, Herbert Samuel specializes in seasonal fare, with an innovative menu.
Celebrating Israel’s 70th anniversary, Herbert Samuel restaurant is holding special wine-tasting evenings, where wines from different regions of Israel are served along a tailor-made five-course meal prepared by the chef especially for wine enthusiasts to pair with the wines.
Chef Mor Cohen, together with the hotel’s management, decided to hold the special concept meals as a tribute to the fast-growing wine industry of the country, showcasing wines from different wine regions in Israel and serving dishes that reflect the character of the region. The first evening, which took place in March, was dedicated to wines from the Golan Heights.
We participated in the second evening, held last month, which was dedicated to the best wineries from the Judean Mountains – Flam, Domain Du Castel and Tzora.
The restaurant was open that evening only to patrons who reserved seats for that special meal.
Asked to arrive early, we got to the hotel at 6:30 p.m. in time to watch the glorious sunset while sipping a glass of lovely chilled rose on the beautiful porch adjacent to the restaurant, with stunning views of the marina and the Mediterranean.
I had the Castel and my partner had the Flam – both are excellent as aperitifs.
In general the wine throughout the meal was wonderful, and we didn’t expect any less, since all three wineries participating in the event are considered among the best in Israel, and are certainly my favorites.
Seated inside the meal opened with a tartlet of green vegetables served with a quail egg-yolk, paired with Tzora Judean Hills Blanc 2017, made from Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc grown on old terraces. The wine is an excellent representative of the terroir and is a pleasure to drink.
Next came a dish that was called on the menu Grilled Offal Ballotine, stuffed with grilled meats, inspired by the famous “Mixed Jerusalem Grill” dish, alongside a glass of Flam Merlot 2016, again a great pairing.
After enough time to let the food go down, the third dish was served – a shoulder of lamb with Swiss chard, root vegetables and crisps made from Jerusalem artichoke.
Now we were already into serious eating, and the wine paired with the dish was accordingly rich – the Tzora Shoresh Red is a perfect choice for rich meaty dishes.
After the lamb, we needed to take a break and again the mesmerizing views of the Mediterranean gave us just that. The views, the air, the well-dressed people and the atmosphere made us feel as if we were a part of a kitschy holiday postcard.
But before the end, we were in for another main dish, again lamb, but this time the entrecote, served with lamb kebab and pine nuts, a dish that reflects the local food at its best. To enhance it, the wine served was one of the more decorated wines in Israel, the Domain Du Castel Grand Vin 2011 – a true grand dish to round the meal.
Then it was time for the dessert, for those of us who had room. Thankfully the chef was considerate and served us with a dessert that was perfect after such a rich meal. Sticking to the same idea of local ingredients and flavors, the dessert was a “Cigar” filled with nuts, pistachio and spiced ice cream. Perfect.
Next week, June 20, the Herbert Samuel restaurant will hold an evening of wines for the Carmel Mountain region. The wineries participating will be Tulip, Maia and Bat Shlomo. I am sure the evening will be as good as the one we had. Later this year, in October 10, the evening will present wines from the Negev Mountains wine region, including wines from Yatir, Midbar and Ramat Negev wineries.
If you are a wine enthusiast – don’t miss the opportunity to taste these wines.
Sample unique flavors of local wines from boutique wineries across Israel’s wine regions: The Golan Heights, The Judean Mountains, Mount Carmel and The Negev Mountains.
Enliven the senses in a five-course Herbert Samuel chef tailor-made meal prepared especially for wine enthusiasts, paired with the tastes of authentic wines and mesmerizing views of the Mediterranean.The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
Herbert Samuel at the Ritz-Carlton, Herzliya
4 HaShunit Street
Herzliya, 4655504 Israel