Lock, stock and barrel

Belle & Antoine in Tel Aviv offers homemade favorites at reasonable prices.

Dish 390 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Dish 390
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Belle & Antoine on Ben Yehuda is dedicated to those nostalgic for “old” Tel Aviv, a time where intimate neighborhood bars could be found on every street corner, and if the waiters didn’t so much as know your name, they certainly knew where you lived and how much rent you were paying.
When we arrived at 8 p.m. the place was half-full, and the mixed crowd was applying European volume control. As soon as we were seated, our capable and casual server appeared with an extensive wine list. After asking whether we like red or white, she gave her recommendation.
We opted for Bravdo Cabernet Sauvignon from Karmei Josef winery. It was indeed an excellent wine, with fruity aromas of red berries and a touch of oak.
The menu is of a modern bistro with starters, such as baked-beet salad – beets baked in a white wine reduction, served with arugula, nuts and raisins in a yogurt dressing (NIS 26); French onion soup with gruyere cheese (NIS 26); and artichoke salad with pickled green turnips, shredded gruyere cheese and house dressing (NIS 34).
The homemade roast beef sirloin served with Dijon mustard and pickles (NIS 44) was interesting, but not wildly successful. It was somewhat spicy, but too long on texture and too short on flavor.
This was followed by a delicious mushroom baguette, adorned with sour cream and melted gruyere cheese (NIS 34). The culinary highlight was the salmon ceviche with avocado, baby radishes, parsley and coriander (NIS 39).
This dish appealed to our senses of color and presentation. Each ingredient spoke for itself, enhanced by a light sprinkling of sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil.
Finally, we concluded with a dessert of old fashioned apple pie served with whipped cream (NIS 31), and chocolate mousse (NIS 29)
Belle & Antoine, 196 Ben Yehuda Street, corner of Jabotinsky, Tel Aviv. Not Kosher.

(03) 605-5225. The writer was a guest of the restaurant.