The new kosher restaurant in Rishon Lezion, Campania, was more than satisfying

As for the dips, they added even more exotic tastes to our meal – a black olive tapenade, “black” tehina and a very spicy tomato salsa.

By
May 8, 2019 20:26
3 minute read.
The new kosher restaurant in Rishon Lezion, Campania, was more than satisfying

Campania. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Itzik, the hands-on manager of Campania in Rishon Lezion, has another business importing pergolas. “That’s one of mine,” he says, pointing to a glass and aluminum construction covering the patio of his spacious establishment. He also imports chefs, having lured the renowned Arik Wikal from a Tel-Aviv non-kosher eatery to oversee the kitchen at Campania. We traveled to Rishon to sample the Campania welcome and can report that it was well worth the effort. This is a kosher chef restaurant where everything works – the food, the service and the presentation.

We left all the choices to our hosts including the eminent chef himself who took time out of the kitchen to come and greet us. It meant that rather than a starter each we were plied with several – plus a basket of warm crispy focaccia with three dips (NIS 21).

The first hors d’oeuvre to arrive was a dish of little mounds of liver pate with forest fruits sauce. Maybe we were very hungry after the long drive, but this was a real delicacy, the pâté smooth and full of flavor, contrasting well with the acidy fruits (NIS 45). A second starter was a dish of mushrooms which had been stuffed with chopped meat, coated in crumbs and oven-baked (NIS 43). It was also very good.

While we were enjoying these two starters, a plate of sirloin beef carpaccio arrived, thinly sliced pieces of meat garnished with radishes and mustard. The beef was so tender it was almost buttery – forgive the metaphor (NIS 46). Finally, in the starter category, a dish of roasted aubergine salad with tehina arrived. Although this dish has become almost a cliché in recent years, it was very good and large dollops of it were scooped up with the very fresh focaccia.

As for the dips, they added even more exotic tastes to our meal – a black olive tapenade, “black” tehina and a very spicy tomato salsa.



The wine to accompany this feast was a Teperberg red blend called “Inspire,” which lived up to its name, being a robust and satisfying wine (NIS 350 a bottle, NIS 36 for a glass).

Unfortunately, it had been refrigerated, so we had to try and take the chill off with warm hands. Call me a hidebound traditionalist, but I do prefer my red wine at room temperature. My companion chose the asado as a main course. We were told it had been steamed in a special cooker for 12 hours. Itzik explained that asado is an expensive dish – NIS 23 per 100 grams, with a piece starting at 500 grams – because it shrinks to half its size in the cooking process.

It was, unsurprisingly, very soft and was devoured with passion, as were the accompanying crispy fried bits of mashed potato.

I chose pargit with herb dressing, a fairly straightforward piece of chicken thigh taken off the bone, flattened and grilled. The herb garnish contained plenty of basil which suited me fine (NIS 85).

An interesting health salad also arrived: very finely chopped salad vegetables with loads of chopped herbs (NIS 56).

By now somewhat replete, we forced ourselves to try one dessert between us, as it is always pleasant to end with something sweet.

This was called “Le bon-bon” and consisted of a half-ball of nougat and caramel covered in dark chocolate with vanilla ice cream. It was very rich and the different ingredients added up to a sweet finale (NIS 44).

One mint tea and black coffee later and we were on the road home. The journey back to Netanya from Rishon took less than half an hour at this time of night, and the consensus was that the trip both there and back had been well worth the effort.

 

Campania

Kosher

Barshavski St. 8, Rishon Lezion.

Ph: 03-903-7667

Sun-Thurs: 12 noon-1 a.m.

Friday: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Sat: From one hour after Shabbat


The writer was a guest of the restaurant.


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