5 years, 5 cooks

Tel Aviv's Tchernichovsky 6 has come up with a most endearing manner in which to celebrate its anniversary.

For a bistro to mark its fifth anniversary it must do something special to celebrate. Tel Aviv's Tchernichovsky 6 has come up with a most endearing manner in which to celebrate. Chef and co-owner Eyal Maron invited five regular customers, all women, one for each year, from five different ethnic backgrounds, to help create a dish to be added to the menu for the month of May. This represents the give and take between the bistro and its customers, Maron says, adding that he is engaged in constant dialogue with many of his customers about his and their cooking methods. Having recently tasted two of the five, May, it seems, is a good month to pay a visit. My dining partner and I shared Etty's Pastry (NIS 34/48, add an additional NIS 8 for a glass of Arak). Of Balkan origin, it is baked eggplant and feta cheese served with cucumber, onion and super-tasty tasos olives. Alongside, we split Rafaela's Pasta (NIS 35) - an Italian dish, if you couldn't guess, of fettuccini in pesto sauce with potatoes and string beans. Other dishes are a Tripolitan coconut and spicy fish; a Syrian sour soup with meatballs and lemon; and the Polish classic, gefilte fish. We also sampled the kebab patties served with a nice and thick tehina (NIS 36) and the calamari served on a bed of roasted eggplant, tomato and labane cheese (NIS 39). In addition to the very comfortable atmosphere, felt both indoor and out, the provided soundtrack was far superior to that of most other casual Israeli eateries, featuring Band of Horses, The Nationals and the White Stripes. Everything was accompanied by a nice Spanish Tempranillo table wine. Tchernichovsky 6 - 5 Tchernichovsky St. (they moved just across the way to a bigger spot), TA; (03) 620-8729 is open Sun. from noon till 6 p.m., Mon.-Fri. from noon till midnight and Sat. from 7 p.m. till midnight; not kosher. The writer was a guest of the restaurant.