The height of fine dining

From 49 stories up, 2c affords an excellent view and a good meal

2c restaurant311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
2c restaurant311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
While Tel Aviv is billed as the hub of Israel’s cultural scene, 2c might be the most remarkable gastronomical experience in the city. The food is good, but more interestingly, the restaurant is located on the 49th floor of the round Azrieli building, affording excellent views of the city. Supposedly, it’s the highest restaurant in the Middle East (a fact I did not double-check).
After a surprisingly quick elevator ride up, my dining partner and I arrived at the top of the building. On one side is 2c, and on the other is an events hall. The downside to this pairing is the thin walls that allowed those of us sitting near the edge of the restaurant to overhear the blaring music from the party next door. Still, 2c is a pretty large restaurant, so those sitting in the center or at the bar in the entrance way might not have heard the noise.
The dimly lit restaurant was rather crowded on the night of our visit, which is a good sign. The furniture is the heavy type typical of fancy places, and the central wall is decorated in an interesting mural. A nice feature of having a round building is that there are many window-side seats available, and even the tables not right next to the window allow for a good view of the city. 2c is meant for romance, and the ambiance (and prices) reflects its angle.
We started our meal with tasty house bread and dips. We ordered the hearts of lettuce salad (NIS 38) and beef risotto (NIS 48) to start. The food was brought quickly, though we had to request water, which was surprising for a restaurant of 2c’s caliber.
The salad was fresh and crispy with a citrus-mustard dressing that was noticeable but not overpowering. The risotto had a rich texture and delicate flavor, with pieces of beef and Portobello mushrooms.
Another strange blip on the service-side of 2c was that we were brought fresh silverware before we’d finished our first courses. New cutlery was appreciated, but it would have been better if our initial set had been cleared first.
For our main courses, we opted for the lamb dish (NIS 159) and the grilled tenderloin (NIS 128). The presentation was attractive, with decorative use of sauces. The meat was pretty good, too. The lamb dish came with a generous portion of grilled lamb chops, kebabs and (Uzbek) plov-style rice. The chops were just a little tough and had a nice, light flavor.
The kebabs were solid, with an almost sausage-like texture, pine nuts and surprising subtlety. The rice was presented in a large leaf, and it had a lot of flavor. It wasn’t exactly to my liking, but that was a matter of individual taste. The fillet was done nicely and came on a bed of mashed potatoes with root vegetables on the side.
Dessert was a rich experience deserving of a rave review. We went with the Velrona Chocolate Soufflé (NIS 42) and the Choco Coco Guanaja (NIS 42). The soufflé requires a wait as it is prepared, but it’s worth it.
The chocolate is rich and gooey and comes with berry marmalade. The Choco Coco Guanaja is a creamy chocolate-coconut combination full of flavor and spoon-licking goodness.
The only problem with the desserts was that we couldn’t finish them.
Sharing one would have been a better idea than ordering two.
Dining at 2c is definitely an upper-class experience. The place is nice, the view is stunning, and the dishes are done well. While service is quick, it has a few holes that would be overlooked elsewhere but were surprising at a place like 2c. The height thing is a definite draw, but it’s not an excuse.
Still, for a special evening, 2c is worth the ascent.
2c Bar-Restaurant, Azrieli Center, Round Building, floor 49, Tel Aviv.
(03) 608-1990. Kosher.