Something to celebrate

Seatara, a gourmet bistro on the Tel Aviv coast, offers European cuisine with a Mediterranean twist.

Seatara 370 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Seatara 370
(photo credit: Courtesy)
It was a perfect winter afternoon – sunny but not hot, with clear skies and clean air, and we were debating where to have a birthday lunch. The decision was not a difficult one to make. Seatara, a bistro located in Sea & Sun, the upscale residential complex on the northernmost beach of Tel Aviv, was the place we all agreed was perfect for spending a relaxed afternoon.
There is plenty of parking near the complex, and walking into the lobby almost feels like walking into a hotel – which it isn’t. Located at the end of the lobby on the righthand side, overlooking the beach and facing a breathtaking sea view is Seatara. Usually a very popular spot, in the late hours of the afternoon it was not very crowded.
With a perfect view of the sea, it is also beautifully designed, with different eating spaces for various size groups, including a private room for small parties. But we were anticipating a glorious sunset and decided to sit in the enclosed porch.
The business lunch at Seatara offers a choice of a starter, a main course and a beverage for the price of the main dish. Dessert is an extra NIS 20. And the choice is vast.
Even before you order, a basket of freshly baked bread and a choice of antipasti and butter are served with the drinks. We chose a bottle of Chablis. After all, we were celebrating.
There is always a fish tartar on the starter menu, and on the day we were there it was salmon. It was served in a taco with crème fraiche, a really lovely twist.
Another starter was a deep dish of shrimp cooked in white wine, oregano, olives and roasted peppers.
It was very good, and the three of us fought over every piece. The third starter of choice was the beef carpaccio, one of Seatara’s signature dishes. We just had to have it .All the dishes arrived very quickly, and the service was impeccable.
The we took a short break. We were in no hurry, and the sun hadn’t reached the water yet.
Another glass of the Chablis and some serious discussion, and decisions were made.
The younger member of our group decided that risotto was in order. She chose the seafood risotto (NIS 95). There is also a vegetarian risotto on the menu. Hers was a sound choice. The risotto was cooked al dente, as it should be, and the seafood and cream sauce was rich but not too heavy.
I chose the sea bream fillet with zucchini spaghetti, served with Provençal vegetables (NIS 105).
The dish was cooked well, seasoned carefully, moist, tasty and yet light on the calorie count.
The birthday boy ordered the lamb kebab on tortillas (NIS 105).
The kebab patties were round and juicy, grilled well and full of flavor.
They were served over a corn tortilla that was prepared on the premises with grilled vegetables. A great meaty dish, very satisfying, yet not too heavy. Again the chef was clever enough not to add unnecessary sauces. The result is that one doesn’t feel bad about eating but rather is happy for eating well.
All the dishes not only taste great but also look very attractive.
Now the sky was turning red, and we sat there watching the glorious sunset for a while before moving on to the desserts. Here the choice was rather difficult, so we took the chef’s advice and tried the kadaif with white chocolate. A dessert typical to the Middle East, kadaif is usually served with goat cheese and syrup. The unlikely marriage with chocolate was interesting and tasty.
But the best dessert was the Seatara version of Malabi, which is a milk pudding scented with rose water. It was indeed the best malabi we’d had in a long time.
As we were leaving, the sky was turning dark blue, and the evening crowds started streaming in. For residents of the complex, this is a very popular bar and meeting place. We wish we lived closer.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.

Seatara Not kosher 8 Herzl Rosenblum Street Sea & Sun, Tel Aviv 057-944-3447 Sunday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – midnight. Saturday 9 a.m – midnight.

Business lunch: Sunday – Thursday 12:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.