Dining Review: A touch of class

Lechem Ve Ya'in: Desserts are classic and simple - and some even low-calorie.

We've been hearing good things about the Lechem Veyayin (Bread and wine) restaurant for quite some time from Yehud-area residents, and we were feeling hungry, so we decided that a trip over there was overdue. Owners Rona Pardiss and Deganit Amichai, friends for many years, opened a coffee shop on the premises eight years ago with just a few tables. As the story goes, business grew and grew, and, in fact, is still growing. Today's restaurant seats 100, with an outside patio seating another 50 or so, and plans are in the works for another expansion. The restaurant boasts a well-stocked bar with professional bartenders and is a great place to relax with a cocktail and snack. The female touch is evident in the decor, which is soft, soothing and welcoming without being overly feminine. Mystic Rose delivers the magificent flower arrangements fresh weekly, and these are just about the only visual elements apart from a few mirrors on the walls. The lighting is subdued with lamps in alcoves on every wall reminiscent of a French bistro. Pardiss is an interior designer by training and her talent is evident. True, the TV over the bar jars the senses, but, according to Deganit, customers requested it, so there it is - with the power off, thankfully. Asked how their partnership, works Pardiss says that she takes care of eveything that is seen and Amichai of everything that can't be seen. It obviously works. The menu is rather limited but has something for everyone. Fresh is the main focus. For the diet-concious, there is a low-cal health section detailing the total calories, fat content and weight of the meat/fish for every dish. Specials of the day are listed on a blackboard in good bistro fashion. We decided on the fresh asparagus in mint and lemon sauce, which was perfect: the asparagus cooked to perfection, still crunchy, and the sauce light and nether too minty nor too lemony. The beef carpaccio was also very good, and, when taking the order, our waitress asked if we wanted the parmesan on the side. Clever girl - that's how it should be. The home-baked rolls were fresh and crusty. Prices for first courses range from NIS 31 to 44. As main courses we decided on an excellent trout filet, served with mashed potatoes. The fish is delivered fresh daily, and salmon and sea bream are also on the menu. Our second choice was the filet steak, which turned out to be tender and tasty and served rare, as requested. The unpretentious dishes come in ample servings, with main course prices ranging from NIS 44 to 98. Considering the name of the restaurant, the wine list is surprisingly small, however, featuring local and boutique wines including some good Yardens and Gamlas. Desserts are classic and simple and include sorbets, ice creams, fresh fruit and profiteroles. The restaurant inside and out was full with patrons of all ages, and the evening was enjoyable and relaxing, thanks to good food, wine and bread. Well worth a visit if you are in the area or a detour if you are not. Lechem Veyayin, 4 Derekh Hahoresh, Kiryat Savyon, Yehud; Tel (03) 632-1793. Open Sunday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 1:30 a.m., Friday 8 a.m to 3:30 p.m; Saturday 7 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Business lunch is served from noon to 6 p.m. daily. Not kosher.