A culinary classic, reimagined

The venerable Jerusalem restaurant Fink’s takes on an inspired new incarnation.

Jerusalem restaurant Fink's 521 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Jerusalem restaurant Fink's 521
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Upon setting foot in the newly opened Fink’s in downtown Jerusalem (across from the Mamilla Hotel), one is immediately transported to an almost otherworldly, romantic, minimalist elegance – defined by a visually soothing atmosphere, courteous hospitality and prompt and polite service.
Indeed, after crossing the restaurant’s threshold, a maitre d’ welcomes each customer, offers a selection of more than 60 imported beers, equally varied cocktails and virtually any fine wine one can name.
He then guides you to a central island bar, illuminated by a relaxing prism of muted-red light, or a cozy couch to await being escorted by a waitress to the main dining area upstairs.
The restaurant is comprised of two floors. The first floor serves as a bar and open kitchen, manned by coowner Guy Bensimon, a native Israeli who managed the original Fink’s on King George for five years prior to opening his own version. His partner, Sami Lasry, is the creative visionary behind the restaurant.
Bensimon, who enthusiastically greets all customers from behind the kitchen’s counter as he meticulously prepares the numerous and farreaching entrees, describes his Fink as a “progressive homage” to the original.
Indeed, at this Fink, after the upstairs restaurant closes at about 11 p.m., the downstairs features an unusual aperitivo bar, where customers are served, gratis, the remaining delicacies prepared by Bensimon and his staff of culinary experts, paying only for drinks.
The aperitivo bar is open every night from 10:30 p.m. or 11 p.m.
until the bar closes at around 1 a.m., or after the last customer leaves.
The restaurant itself, which is open Monday through Thursday from 7 p.m. to after midnight, is located on the second floor, just beyond a relatively small wooden staircase.
The dining area is intimate and romantic – suitable for a special date or an important business discussion.
There are five tables in all, each fitted with elegant cashmere sofas and separated by enough space to afford a complete feeling of privacy.
Upon being seated, a charming waitress, fluent in Hebrew and English, ensured our comfort and effortlessly recited the specials for the evening.
Fink’s kosher menu offers three types of dinners, including an eightdish, alternating menu that changes daily; a five-dish, meat-based meal; and a five-dish, fish-based meal.
Setting the stage for an exotic and fun evening, our waitress, with a mischievous grin, offered my date and me a special cocktail that she promised would delight all the senses. Minutes later, she returned to our table carrying a tray carefully coated with liquid nitrogen with two rich cocktails, leaving the aura of a surreal Cirque du Soleil performance.
Allowing just the right amount of time to savor our drinks, she then reappeared with the first course of an eight-dish alternating menu, including a delicious new-style sashimi, fragrant dill and absinthe soup and savory pink trout with lemon air.
For the second course, we were presented with tender servings of filet mignon on a truffle whip, accompanied by a melon and mint sorbet.
After allowing for just the right amount of time to cleanse our palates with the refreshing sorbet, we were presented with a veritable symphony of desserts, which included a delectable crème brulee of chocolate, cold chocolate and Laphroaig soup with a Drambuie foam and golden caramelized chestnuts.
Following a perfect nightcap of fine brandy, our waitress escorted us downstairs and bade us adieu, leaving us both feeling gratified by the expertly orchestrated evening before stepping back into the real world.
If you are fortunate enough to get reservations at Fink’s, give yourself enough time to truly savor the experience. You won’t forget it anytime soon.

The writer was a guest of the restaurant.

22 King Solomon St., Jerusalem
Tel: (02) 652-8088; 050-869-8208