A welcome change

The first kosher Spaghettim meat restaurant opens in Ramat Gan.

Spaghettim 390 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Spaghettim 390
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The popular Italian chain of restaurants Spaghettim has opened the first kosher meat branch in the country in the Bourse Building in Ramat Gan. In fact, it was also the first kosher Spaghettim in Israel five years ago, but in its first incarnation it was a dairy restaurant.
“It was the only kosher Spaghettim in the world,” says owner Michel Dayan, who made aliya from France 14 years ago.
Given its location near the Diamond Exchange, it made economic sense to offer kosher food to the many observant people working in the area.
“Three months ago we decided to change over to a meat restaurant,” says Dayan. “There was a huge demand from our regular customers, and we already had a very large clientele.”
Since switching to meat cuisine only a month ago, he is pleased with the results. For the chef, Barak Ashkenazi, it was a challenge to produce classic Italian food without cheese, but he has created some culinary magic – as we discovered recently when the restaurant invited observant food writers to sample the wares. They called it a press conference, but in fact it was a very impressive meal.
So in the company of several besheiteled and black kippawearing journalists from the haredi press, we settled down to enjoy our taste of Italy.
While inspecting the menu and trying to pick something representative from the extensive choices, a bowl of piping hot green pea soup appeared, which proved to be just the job on that cold rainy night. It was just as it should be, texture and flavorwise – not too thick and not too thin.
The soup of the day is NIS 24.
For my starter I chose Bruschetta Funghi (NIS 26), which consists of bread toasted with olive oil, smeared with a rich, creamy mushroom spread and topped with seared Portobello and champignon mushrooms. It was served on brown paper and was redolent with garlic and herbs, a delicious starter that tasted authentically Italian. My companion picked the liver pâté (NIS 29) – two very thick slices of creamy pâté served with pear confit, which he pronounced superb. You could certainly taste the liver, but it felt too fatty to my palate. And no wonder. Later, Dayan divulged that it was made with generous helpings of goose fat.
For the main course, there are naturally many pasta and calzone dishes, fish and salads from which to choose. We plumped for the meat offerings. I had escalope in red wine sauce (NIS 59), which turned out to be chicken breast, but it was very succulent, the sauce was rich and sweet, and it came with fresh green beans saturated in garlic flavoring which was wonderful. My husband had a large plate of osso bucco in thick brown gravy (NIS 79) and was very happy with that.
Some of the people around were tucking in to thick entrecote steaks (NIS 118); but a steak is a steak, and I felt I should concentrate on the Italian aspect of the place.
About six different desserts (NIS 25) were brought round on a tray so we could choose what most appealed. I had the individual apple crumble – spicy moist apple chunks mixed with raisins served with vanilla ice cream (parve, of course). My companion had something chocolaty and gooey, which he said was very good.
For an excellent meal that isn’t going to bankrupt you, I highly recommend this Spaghettim.
Thanks for becoming kosher!
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
Spaghettim Kosher 7 Abba Hillel St. Ramat Gan Tel: (03) 575-0645