Masaryk is one of those patronage-worthy restaurants on Emek that finds itself full up for Friday morning breakfast.
By RACHEL F. WANETIK
Masaryk can easily be found on Emek Refaim amidst many eateries. Its namesake is attributed to the street with which it shares a corner named for "the father of Czechoslovakia," Tomas Masaryk, a friend and supporter of the Jewish nation (as written on the menu). Masaryk was the first president of the Republic of Czechoslovakia who granted full rights to the Jews who lived there and fought against anti-Semitic offenses. The history behind the name only enhances the tasty food we can appreciate in the present day.
My dining partner and I were treated to refreshing and cooling iced lemonade with Arak and mint as a starter before our tantalizing appetizer - citrus chili mushrooms. It was not a dish I would have ordered but now that I have tasted it, I will not miss out on these fungi again. Maya, our waitress, recounted a time when the restaurant had run out of the ingredients for the dish and staff was sent out to buy more mushrooms at the local supermarket, lest the diners protest. I wanted to sop up the lightly spiced sauce with the rest of the house bread but also wanted to save room for the main dish so I settled for a spoonful instead.
Masaryk's house bread (NIS 12) with sesame seeds atop tasted buttery. But if you wanted more, it is served with butter featuring sun-dried tomatoes. Don't worry if you are not a fan of tomatoes as they were just there to provide color and a subtle taste. The soup of the day (NIS 31) was cream of pea. It was smooth, tasty and green. Minestrone is the house soup and is also NIS 31.
The pasta, while not made on the premises, is homemade, and includes fettuccini, spaghetti, penne and ravioli. The restaurant also features specials of the day written on a blackboard mounted on the wall, fish dishes, salads and tomato -based sauces for those who are lactose-intolerant. I had the fettuccini with a salmon and sage sauce (NIS 55). There was an ample amount of salmon pieces and the sauce was not overly heavy which was well-suited to my taste. My dining partner, clad in a Hawaiian shirt, had been searching for the perfect creamy sauce to accompany pasta as he is an avid fan of fettuccini alfredo and was delighted to find it accompanying his eggplant ravioli (NIS 58) at Masaryk.
Masaryk is one of those restaurants on Emek that finds itself full up for Friday morning breakfast. There are simpler morning meals for NIS 19 and the full Israeli breakfast for NIS 45 and a few in between. But don't miss out on Masaryk's business lunch or the way to end your day, dinner.
On the way home from our delightful dining experience, we met up with a young duo who vouched that Masaryk was good about substitutions and additions to dishes upon request. That alone could make a restaurant worthy of patronage.
31 Emek Refaim (02) 563-6418 Open until 1 a.m. Closed on Shabbat. Kosher, The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
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