Comfort zone

Liliyot, an established kosher eatery in Tel Aviv, lets its diners know they are helping youth at risk

Liliyot (photo credit: courtesy)
(photo credit: courtesy)
Liliyot in Tel Aviv is one of those places you can return to again and again and always enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, the original offerings on the menu and the fact that by being a patron you are contributing to the social vision of people who invest in it in order to help train youth at risk to acquire a useful vocation.
It’s the place I’ve chosen in the past to celebrate family landmark events, so when an invitation arrived to try out the summer menu, I was more than ready.
I was shown to a comfortable table in the corner, so I was able to enjoy sitting on a sofa and absorb the atmosphere while I waited for my companion to park the car. When the waitress suggested a pre-dinner drink and showed me a cocktail menu (all cocktails are NIS 36), nothing really appealed to me so she suggested a gin and tonic (NIS 41).
As this is usually a difficult mix to get right, I asked her to bring me the constituent ingredients separately. To my delight, a tray appeared with the gin, the tonic, ice cubes and lemon slices each on its own, so I was able to mix my drink to the perfect consistency. Sipping it slowly I perused the menu and waited for my husband to join me. By the time he did, I was exuding bonhomie.
My husband chose his favorite starter of grilled chicken livers on toast, in this case served with banana and vanilla caramel (NIS 46). I that I should sample something more adventurous, and my eye was caught by the intriguing green asparagus on popcorn cream with a soft-boiled egg and bitter chocolate (NIS 52). The kindest thing I can say about this dish is that it is not easy to peel a soft-boiled egg, but they did it without a trace of shell. The asparagus was crispy, but after making inroads into the dish, the overall result was so unaesthetic that one could not proceed. The grated chocolate was just a powder that soon dissipated, and the egg was, well, an egg. The less said about the popcorn cream the better.
Luckily, my husband shared his absolutely delicious livers with me.
They were perfectly grilled, not too much and not too little, and the sweet base accompanying the dish enhanced the flavor.

We also sampled another starter, mushroom ravioli with asparagus fumet (NIS 54). The filling of the ravioli was a mushroom puree, which was fine, but a chunky filling would have been better and the flavor of the fumet was ultra-subtle.
For the main course I chose goose supreme (NIS 98), a generous piece of breast served with apple sauce and Swiss chard. Our helpful waitress assured me it was easy to remove the layer of fat covering the breast, and this I did. There was still plenty of tender, pink meat left to enjoy. My husband, a dedicated carnivore, chose the oven-roasted, boneless, marbled and aged premium cut of prime rib (NIS 150), which he said was succulent, not too rare or well done and flavored strongly with black pepper. It came with potato puree and an unidentifiable green vegetable. The green salad (NIS 38) on the side was very welcome, and the glasses of iron-mixed red wine (NIS 45 a glass) were acceptable.
For dessert, we chose the selection of mixed desserts (NIS 54 for two people), which enabled us to try five out of the seven on offer, in small amounts, which was perfect for two dedicated weight watchers like us.
They included zabaglione on meringue with sour fruit, which had a strong and welcome liqueur flavor; green apple crumble with pecans and ginger ice-cream; chocolate nougat and espresso crunch; and chocolate soup, which was unbelievably rich. Separate desserts in a larger format cost between NIS 32 for a few scoops of sorbet to NIS 42 for the zabaglione and apple pecan crumble.
For a relaxed and laid-back evening out, with soft unobtrusive music in the background, kind lighting and a warm atmosphere, you can’t do better than Liliyot in Tel Aviv. Just don’t be too adventurous when ordering.

The writer was a guest of the restaurant.

4 Weizmann St.
Tel Aviv. Tel: (03) 609-1331