Joya is a chain of Italian restaurants in Israel and a branch has opened in the fairly new Piano shopping center in Ir Yamim.
Visiting the Piano Center itself is quite an experience. It’s a shopping mall full of restaurants (all Kosher) and shops of all kinds, but unlike a conventional mall, it’s all in the open air with an abundance of greenery, sea views and stylized lighting, all of which make it a very attractive place to visit.
Invited to check out one of the most popular restaurants, the Joya, we studied the menu and made our selection, enjoying the rather rustic décor, with the cheerful red gingham cloth napkins on the well-spaced tables.
For starters we chose the “Crispy Mushrooms” (NIS 46) and “Polenta” (NIS 52), which arrived very quickly, attesting to the good and prompt service at Joya.
The deep-fried crumbed mushrooms were filled with a cheesy mixture and served with rather spicy red peppers. The dish came with a garlic mayonnaise that had a definite truffle aura to it. The polenta was served in an attractive ceramic bowl and was very hot, temperature-wise – always a good thing. On the side were fresh asparagus, not overdone.
After these excellent starters, the main courses were not long in coming. My companion chose “Salmon on forbidden rice (whatever that is) with green beans” (NIS 110), and seemed to enjoy it. Though I think the fish was a tad overdone.
My choice was the “Funghi Pappardelle,” which consisted of al dente pasta with a mushroom sauce. I found it slightly oily, but delicious. (NIS 68)
There were many luscious sounding desserts on the menu. We shared a slice of baked Italian cheesecake, which came with a sprinkling of almonds and strawberry sauce. The crust was barely discernible, and the whole edifice was topped with fresh cream and garnished with mint leaves.
It left a wonderful taste, both literally and figuratively. Go and see for yourselves.
Joya,Shoshana Damari 10,Netanya.09-835-6880Open: Sunday-Thursday, 12 p.m.–11:30 p.m.Friday: 12 p.m.–one hour before Shabbat.Saturday: one hour after Shabbat until midnight.Kashrut: Rabbanut Netanya.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.