Local goodness

The menu at Tel Aviv’s Cafe 48 is enticing – and so are the prices.

Cafe 48 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Cafe 48
(photo credit: Courtesy)
A welcome revival of the local restaurant concept is taking place in Tel Aviv. More and more establishments are now offering good value for money, presenting modern food in a homey or stylish environment. It means that both locals and visitors to the city can enjoy the luxury of popping down the road to eat out.
One such restaurant is Cafe 48, where chef Jonathan Borowitz has created a most enticing menu.
Upon entering, one is immediately struck by the warm, welcoming atmosphere of the place. It consists of a main dining room, including a spacious bar area, as well as a small outdoor courtyard (where we were seated).
Our skilled, capable and casual server arrived to help us find just the right wine to start with. We went with one from Amphora, one of the leading Israeli boutique wineries, and never looked back We were treated to an intermediary course of: fresh corn polenta (NIS 54) with roasted mushrooms; shrimp and bean vermicelli salad (NIS 44), and roasted beets (NIS 28) with gorgonzola cream and a touch of truffle oil. All were delicious, especially the polenta. It was so good, that we used the homemade bread that came with it to scoop up what remained on the plate.
For the main dish, we were presented with crispy chicken (NIS 58) with broccoli in a spicy caramel sauce. The chicken was very tender, and the sauce was Asian delicious, sweet but not too tangy, and spicy enough to add good flavor but not too spicy as to burn one’s mouth.
This was followed by ravioli filled with chicken liver, which proved a good combination. The piece de resistance was the short rib sandwich, aka the shpondra (NIS 52). In the case of this special sandwich, the meat is slow cooked for about five hours, stewing in its own juices, until it turns into a confit. The meat is then tucked into a little halla roll and dressed with homemade ketchup and slices of pickles. The sandwich was delicious and generous and simply melted in the mouth.
We ordered hot drinks and took another breather. Then came dessert. Cafe 48 is well known for its crack pie, which did not disappoint. The dish consists of pie crust with eggs, butter and sugar mixed with oatmeal. Adding to the flavor of the pie was a helping of whipped cream. It was certainly addictive.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
Cafe 48 (Not kosher) 48 Nahalat Binyamin, Tel Aviv (03) 510-1001