Passion for pasta

Tranquilla in downtown Tel Aviv is classy, contemporary and kosher.

Passion for pasta (photo credit: Courtesy)
Passion for pasta
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Situated in the heart of Tel Aviv, Tranquilla is a kosher Italian restaurant for the contemporary city dweller. The interior is much like the restaurant itself – classy, warm and Italian style, yet modern. A bar functions as the centerpiece of the restaurant, and customers can either sit there for a quick drink or at one of the surrounding tables, inside or outside, for a sit-down meal. Given the choice, I would always go for the latter.
Our knowledgeable waiter wanted my dining companion and me to get a good understanding of what the restaurant has to offer, so after we provided a little guidance as to our likes and dislikes, we were brought a parade of tastes.
The food here is not to be missed. Our meal opened with some fantastic starters. The crispy focaccia (NIS 29) was well seasoned with sea salt, fresh oregano, olive oil and garlic – perfect for dipping into the accompanying olive paste. We also opted for the green asparagus (NIS 36) with butter, white wine and Parmesan, as well as the baked market vegetables (NIS 33). Both were equally delicious. This was followed by fish carpaccio (NIS 43) – the fish sliced so thinly, it seemed to melt in our mouths. The mushroom risotto (NIS 39) was absolutely fantastic and came with slices of whole mushrooms mixed in. Though risotto is not the featured dish at this restaurant, it was one of the highlights of our meal.
These dishes were prepared with much attention to detail and with a goal to surprise and please. The mission was soundly accomplished, as each dish was unique and fresh and full of character.
For mains, we began with torn pasta, beets and blue cheese (NIS 65). The pasta itself, being fresh and not store bought, was creamy and bursting with flavor.
This was followed by seared corvina (NIS 110) placed on pasta pappardelle. The seared fish was expertly cooked to a very pleasing texture – flaky, firm yet yielding. And just when we though it couldn’t get any better, we were presented with artichoke and sage tortellini. It was deliciously sweet and creamy, exactly as our friendly waiter had described. This was my favorite dish by far.
Then came dessert. Tranquilla is well known for its homemade ice cream (NIS 24), which was accompanied by a devilishly indulgent chocolate pie, and it did not disappoint. My dining partner, Rebecca H, joyfully proclaimed that this was one of the best desserts she had ever tasted. This was followed by a deeply espressoflavored and mascarpone-rich tiramisu (NIS 31), which was just as good as it sounds.
I was highly impressed with Tranquilla. The service was fantastic – the staff are incredibly fast, helpful and patient. I recommend it to anyone who loves food – Italian or not. It also serves as a destination for a thoroughly enjoyable night out in Tel Aviv. I’m already planning my next trip.The writer was a guest of the restaurant.Tranquilla Kosher 1 Mikveh Israel, Tel Aviv (03) 685-0002