Food and wine 88.
(photo credit: Courtesy photo)
For the first time in Israel an all-kosher chef toh'chal (chef, eat) festival will be held in the Sharon and Coastal Plain from February 18 to 28. Thirty-five choice restaurants in these areas will be offering a special winter menu consisting of an hors d'oeuvre, entree and dessert for NIS 79.
"Pe Echad" (one mouth), a company specializing in services to eateries, initiated this festival to increase the public's awareness of advances in Israeli cuisine. There have already been three extremely successful festivals, but this is the first with only kosher participants.
L'Entrecote, in Neve Binyamin, corner Ahad Ha'am street in Tel Aviv hosted the media for a tasting of what's being offered by some of the participating restaurants. Six different chefs took over L'Entrecote's kitchen to provide what turned out to be a memorable feast.
First of all, L'Entrecote is a comfortable, nicely decorated restaurant and its chef, Christian Czardash (who is also the chef at the Alhambra in Jaffa) served mini baby chicken skewers in a cocunut, peanut and honey sauce; fried cauliflower in a garlic sauce; tuna slices marinated in soy sauce and lemon grass; and excellent entrecote meat patties in techina. Unfortunately, the dishes were served at such a speed that it was impossible to taste them all or appreciate their full flavor.
The Alhambra restaurant's dishes were stuffed eggplant with minced meat and pine nuts on chickpeas in a lemon and fresh tomato sauce; smoked salmon flowers with lettuce, beetroot and raisins; goose liver pate with pineapple confit which, much to my delight, was served with toast, as it should be.
The dishes were nicely presented, unusual and very tasty.
Nes Ziona's Tokopia chef Coby Delal came up with a delicious chicken liver pat that was very rich and creamy, served with an onion confiture.
Chef Ofer Agassi of Petah Tikva's Japanese restaurant Teriyaki served individual sushi platters which included a salmon and avocado sandwich with a "tampo" coating; salmon and tuna rolls with an avocado coating topped by salmon eggs; fried denis fish, avocado, and carrot roll wrapped in smoked salmon and lemon peel. They looked as appetizing as they tasted.
Chefs Eldad Dehan and Guy Peretz, culinary advisor to Oro restaurant on Moshav Galia, had the honor of preparing the main courses. Morrocan cuisine is served at Oro, and I am happy to say I know more about it now than in my last review, and thoroughly enjoyed the Casablanca meat tagine with chick peas in a red sauce plus garlic and cilantro served on a bed of home-made couscous. Even better was the chicken tagine with artichoke, garlic and lemon.
Deserts were made by Gazpacho's chef Guy Peretz, of the Holiday Inn in Ashkelon. The first was a home-made "bazooka crembo" on a crumbled cookie base with a Belgian chocolate sauce on a bed of strawberry coulis. It was way too sweet and parve tasting. On the other hand, the home-made coconut sorbet and date confection was very good.
The all-kosher participating restaurants have put every effort into coming up with interesting dishes. There are meat, Asian, Moroccan, Italian and dairy gourmet eateries. This is a great opportunity to explore new eateries in different towns.
Participating restaurants are:
NETANYA: El Gaucho at the Carmel Hotel (09) 884-1264
HERZLYIA: Bella Venezia, (09) 950-6562; Chizen tapas bar (09) 952-8221; Tzimes, (09) 956-1144
RAMAT HASHARON: Bella Venezia, (03) 540-7280
PETAH TIKVA: Alfredo (03) 923-0643; El Gaucho (kosher lemehadrin) (03) 929-1535; Vertigo (03) 919-1425; Teriyaki (03) 923-6550; Mouldan (03) 922-7795; Caf Roma (03) 921-9644
SAVYON: Le Petit Caf (kosher lemehadrin) (03) 533-0903
RAMAT GAN: El Gaucho (kosher lemehadrin) (03) 751-8937; Yoko Ono (03) 752-4666; Spaghettim (03) 575-0645; Coursin (kosher lemehadrin) (03) 752-6222
TEL AVIV-YAFFO: Alhambra (glatt kosher) (03) 689-4453; Alternative (kosher lemehadrin) (03) 695-0567; El Gaucho (03) 510-4777; Barolina (03) 544-9449; Dr. Shakshouka (03) 518-6560; Tauros (03) 525-6455; L'Entrecote (03) 516-3703;
Papagayo (03) 648-6658; China Lee (Glatt kosher lemehadrin) (03) 510-3140;
RISHON LE ZION: Gehalim (03) 951-0521; El Gaucho (03) 696-4301
REHOVOT: Oro at Moshav Galia (08) 931-6617; Parpadela (08) 936-4422
GEDERA: Badolina (08) 868-0463
NES ZIONA: Tokopaya (08) 938-9333
YAVNE: Portobello (08) 933-0360
ASHKELON: Gazpacho, Holiday Inn hotel (08) 674-8886, Luna: (08) 672-2220