A team effort

The Shine & Sharp smoking bar has good food, a fine beverage selection – and a host of sports celebs.

A team effort (photo credit: courtesy)
A team effort
(photo credit: courtesy)
As someone who doesn’t really follow sports, let alone Israeli sports, I am not so familiar with the local stars. Therefore, I was bemused when my friend and I were asked to move from our bar stools to make way for an entourage of people while we were sipping on wine after we had finished tasting the menu at the newly opened Shine & Sharp smoking bar in Tel Aviv. We were somewhat perplexed because we didn’t know who they were, but things became a lot clearer when we were told that the man heading the entourage was Maccabi Tel Aviv’s superstar Derrick Sharp, one of the partners in the venture.
The new bar is an extension of the successful New York style steak house that US native Sharp opened with the help of Yankele Schein, Shlomo Finkelstein, Erez Ziv and Sharon Sabach, who all have extensive experience in the culinary field.
A small group of journalists were invited to what started out as an intimate tasting evening and turned into a full-blown party, complete with a DJ set by Israeli singer Ninet Tayeb.
The bar, which was designed by Saron Bar-Or, has a sophisticated feel to it, with high ceilings, dark colors and modern lines. Bar-On, who was at the event, explained that only the best quality materials were used to achieve such a high standard finish.
Before we were able to tuck into the new menu that has been created for the bar, we were treated to a detailed introduction by Schein, one of the owners and a veteran restaurateur. He explained that the bar’s main attraction was the dim sum. As someone who is not a big fan of dim sum, I wasn’t too excited. But once the wooden baskets hit the table and I tried the five varieties, I changed my mind. There were five varieties, all of which came with five units per portion: Shrimp and water chestnut (NIS 47), organic sea bass with asparagus (NIS 47), steak and truffle (NIS 45), chicken with vegetables (NIS 39) and shiitake mushroom with vegetables (NIS 36). The sea bass was the best, closely followed by the steak and truffle.
After we devoured the dim sum, we were presented with a selection from the new bar menu. First up were the boneless chicken wings in a teriyaki sauce (NIS 46). While the chicken wings without any bones added a certain amount of novelty, the taste was somewhat standard.
Then came the steak a la minute, which was thin strips of steak served with fried potatoes and aioli sauce (NIS 84). Although the presentation seemed a little sloppy at first, the signature high quality of the meat that defines the restaurant shone through.
Other dishes we tried included a veal sweetbread croissant with red potatoes, spicy arisa sauce and cured lemon (NIS 76), crispy duck salad with iceberg lettuce, cucumber, green onion and hoisin sauce (NIS 49), as well as Sloppy Sabach, a Moroccan variation of Sloppy Joes (NIS 63). All the dishes were innovative and added a certain something special to some very well-known and popular dishes.
After the food was served, we went up to the bar and enjoyed two more glasses of wine from the fine selection on offer. That is when the place turned into a smoky celebrity hang out. It has to be stated that the bar not only allows smoking inside, it encourages it. The words “Smoking Bar” appeared under the name on the menu. For two non-smokers such as my friend and I, it was a little difficult to deal with, but we were enjoying the wine and funky atmosphere too much to notice at the time. It was only when we left the bar that we noticed the lingering smell of smoke.
Although the bar is located off the beaten track near the Nokia Arena, it still attracts the trendy yuppies of Tel Aviv. We left just before midnight, and the party was still in full swing. On a regular night, up until 11:30 p.m., those sitting at the bar can order from the main restaurant menu. After that time until 3 a.m., the special bar menu is served.
The decor at the new Shine & Sharp bar is masculine and sophisticated, the food is good quality, and the drink selection is excellent. It’s perfect for those who don’t mind a smoky atmosphere or being moved from their table for the latest celebrity who walks through the door. For everyone else, it’s worth a visit – but be prepared for the smoke and the attitude.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant
Shine & Sharp Not kosher65 Yigael Alon Street Tel Aviv (03) 536-4755