Kimmel - Nothing to do with Jimmy

Once inside the walls of this 129-year-old Tel Aviv building, the feeling of having left the outside world behind intoxicates you.

shmuel ben aderet 88 (photo credit: )
shmuel ben aderet 88
(photo credit: )
I can't believe I'm about to write this, but I love Kimmel. Having passed this place numerous times on my way to the ever-so-quaint Neve Tzedek, the place seemed inviting but distant. It didn't quite fit in with its surroundings - it's not actually in the Beirut-bourgeois surroundings of the Tel Aviv neighborhood nor does it match up with the bastardized LA-style of the newer section of the city it juts up against. But, once inside the walls of this 129-year-old building the feeling of having left the outside world behind intoxicates you. Invited to a tasting menu, my lovely dining partner and I were inundated with the delights prepared by chef Shaul Ben Aderet and his country-style, French-inspired cuisine. With that said, perhaps it should come as no surprise that the country salad (NIS 44) with a crunchy goodness complemented by peanuts was outrageously delicious. As was the other salad we sampled of beets with the slightest hint of ginger and lemongrass (NIS 44). But we didn't arrive for salad alone. Apparently we also went for the risotto (NIS 49) that captured our taste buds rather unexpectedly, with pieces of asparagus and drizzled with truffle oil. On that note, there seemed to be so much truffle oil in so many of the dishes that my head was swimming in fungi-goodness. At one point, I could hardly smell the wine - my olfactory senses were so overwhelmed. No, I'm not complaining about this point. Other first courses that came our way of particular note were the salmon carpaccio with lemon, mint and honey (NIS 48) and the mushrooms stuffed with goose liver in a port wine sauce with figs and plums (NIS 59). Main courses were, as expected, tasty. In fact, it would be fair to say that they were very tasty. Three of which stood out: grilled duck in apricot chutney (NIS 96); red tuna coated with a colorful array of sesame seeds in a red wine sauce (NIS 109); and, sinta steak in pesto with a garlic confit (NIS 93). If the place is a bit too expensive for your wallet, and it's one of those places that just might be, then I've two suggestions. First, the general business lunch available Sunday to Thursday from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. For NIS 79 you will have a three-course meal that will make it difficult to head back to work. Second, on Fridays from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. NIS 100 will secure three courses as well, but with a menu especially designed for the blissful creation that is a Friday afternoon in the White City. Then from there it's just a hop, skip and a jump to the beach. Though I suggest strolling. Better for the digestion. Kimmel is located at 6 Hashachar St., Tel Aviv, (03) 510-5204; (03) 516-1516. Open Sun to Sat noon to midnight; not kosher. Ken McBride was a guest of the restaurant.