By HANNI REICHMANN
A restaurant celebrating it's 50th anniversary is a rare thing indeed - especially for an establishment that Frank Sinatra never visited. But it's true, not only is the Romanian grill Haim Nello celebrating a jubilee of service but Ol' Blue Eyes never set foot in the place.
One year is the benchmark for most restaurants. If they can make it through the first one, well, they can make it anywhere, as the saying sort of goes. So five decades is clearly a solid indication that you've got a good thing going on. And when you're a restaurant with a good thing, best bet is always to share in your good fortune with the people that helped to make your success, as well as make it easier for a whole new group of hungry folk to get to know your menu as well.
As such, Haim Nello has made 50 of its menu items available for just NIS 10. The deal, which runs through September 15, includes a veritable bevy of choices: chopped liver, Romanian beef patties and sausages, brain schnitzel, ikra and homemade Romanian chorizos amongst much, much more. But there are also desserts, including a variety of sorbets, Romanian kada'if and malabi, as well as drinks - from soft to hard - including wine, beer, chasers, margaritas, coffee and carbonated beverages.
And, if you like entertainment, they've got that too. On Friday afternoons Haim Nello hosts live Romanian music each Friday.
Not bad considering the place's humble beginnings as a small grill stand. Now it's a full fledged establishment situated on the southern end of Tel Aviv's Derech Eilat, which puts it just about in between Neve Tzedek and Florentin.
The first time I visited Haim Nello, I went with a friend not all too into a meat smorgasbord.We ordered enough for two and then I was left shouldering the responsibility having to eat everything. Luckily, before I exploded from stuffing myself like a king/death row inmate, my dining partner pointed out the option of taking the leftovers home.
What a good idea that was. Later in the evening, once I was a bit hungry again, though not enough for another, full-fledged feeding, I experienced the true joy that was picking at the meats, straight from the take out container while standing in front of the open fridge door.
The second time I visited, I realized for certain how much I enjoyed Haim Nello. They make the overwhelming majority of their food items, from the meats to the variety of pickles (available 'hofshi') and the taste really comes through. And really, what more do you want from a restaurant than for the taste to come through?
Well, maybe reservations, which are recommended.
Haim Nello is located at 11 Dereh Eilat, Tel Aviv; (03) 510-1919. Not kosher.
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