A gem in the rough

Tel Aviv’s Cucina Tamar is a little haven of authentic Italian cuisine.

pasta at tarantino_311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
pasta at tarantino_311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Located deep in Tel Aviv’s industrial area, Cucina Tamar is the home restaurant and culinary platform of chef Tamar Cohen-Tzedek. From the relaxed decor to the meticulously selected ingredients, some of which are imported exclusively from Italy, it is clear that a lot of thought and preparation went into developing this restaurant’s design and menu. All the dishes are made from scratch on the premises.
The interior consists of an enclosed patio (with a casual, come-as-you-are atmosphere), a downstairs dining area (with a window into the kitchen and bar) and a wooden upper deck.
At the entrance to the kitchen there’s a blackboard with the menu items printed in chalk. The bar is wide and serves as a centerpiece for the place.
For openers, we were treated to the ravioli tartufo – fresh homemade pasta filled with ricotta, Parmesan and truffles in a butter and truffle sauce. The ravioli melted in the mouth and was full of rich flavor. The second dish we tried was the tortellini – small pasta pockets which, in this case, were filled with a mixture of artichokes and Parmesan cheese and served with a garlic and olive oil sauce. The pasta was fresh and heavenly and cooked to al dente perfection. This was followed by the equally delicious Parmigiana budino – Parmigiana soufflé served with champignon and tartufo mushrooms and shallots.
In between the pasta dishes, we nibbled on a refreshing green salad with root vegetables – a colorful dish of greens, shredded beetroot, carrot and kohlrabi.
For our main course we enjoyed the homemade tagliatelle ragout – three types of ground meat served with long narrow pasta; and the veal scallopini, which consisted of a veal cinta in a white wine sauce of butter, sage and lemon. Both dishes were a treat.
Then came dessert. Cucina Tamar is well known for its homemade ice cream, and it did not disappoint.
The dish consisted of three flavors – coffee, chocolate and vanilla. My dining partner, who claims to be a connoisseur of everything ice cream, joyfully proclaimed that this was the best chocolate ice cream she had ever tasted. This was followed by a deeply espresso-flavored and mascarpone-rich tiramisu, which was just as good as it sounds While there is a plethora of Italian restaurants in the Tel Aviv area, for truly fresh pasta and sauces there’s only one place to go. In terms of cuisine, Cucina Tamar is a genuinely Italian experience.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.

Cucina Tamar Not kosher 10 Hatzfira St.

(03) 639-0407 Mon.-Thurs. from 6 p.m. Fri. from 5 p.m. Sat. from noon. Closed Sundays.