Salta: A Ra'anana fixture revisited - review

Here, for a change, is my report on a full-blown dairy restaurant where fish, cheese and eggs are dished up in a mind-blowing variety of ways

 Salta (photo credit: Salta)
Salta
(photo credit: Salta)

I’ve been getting complaints from fellow members at my local synagogue, the incomparable Snac – South Netanya Ashkenazi Congregation – that I’m writing too much about vegan restaurants.

So here, for a change, is my report on a full-blown dairy restaurant where fish, cheese and eggs are dished up in a mind-blowing variety of ways.

Salta

Salta in Ra’anana has been a fixture of the town for the last 15 years. It’s a rather quaint eatery with old-fashioned wooden tables, oil paintings and a magnificent crystal chandelier. Outside the restroom is the prettiest flowered sink you will ever see. 

Scattered around are items from early Israel – an ancient typewriter, kitchen scales – and there’s a well-stocked wooden bar presided over by an enthusiastic barman, Yoav, who is an expert on mixing cocktails.

 Salta (credit: Salta) Salta (credit: Salta)

I chose a drink of gin and lemon with berries while my companion had vodka and liqueur. I loved my drink – it wasn’t full of ice cubes that would melt and dilute the alcohol but was deceptively sweet – so much so that I didn’t realize how much alcohol I was imbibing. 

There must have been a cup of gin in there because even I, a seasoned drinker, found myself practically under the table. My companion, on the other hand, stayed remarkably sober.

And so to the food. For a starter, I chose eggplant mascarpone with black lentils. It was garnished with pieces of roasted garlic, a delicious nosh. Eaten with handfuls of the crispy brown loaf, it was a delicacy. As I have mentioned before, black lentils have a way of looking just like caviar (NIS 36). 

The other starter was roasted eggplant, served with tomato salsa, a fairly standard but healthy version of the dish (NIS 44).

For his main course my husband picked crispy sea bass (NIS 115) which was served with an interesting pasta shape one does not see around very often, radiatori, so called because they look like radiators. The crumbed fillets were flavored with thyme and rosemary, and were as crispy as promised. You can’t go wrong with sea bass, and this was a good example of it.

I picked spinach quiche with salad and was very happy with my choice. It consisted of a lovely fresh salad – lettuce, cherry tomatoes, red cabbage and herbs – with an enormous slice of quiche. This was dominated by the lashings of melted cheese which – full disclosure – is my favorite food in the world. The pastry was light and crispy (NIS 63).

Finally, we were persuaded to end our meal with a newly created dessert, banana and caramel cake. The base was a buttery shortbread crust and the sliced bananas were covered in lashings of fresh Chantilly, which could make anything taste good.

Congratulations to Yuval and Jonathan Navon, the father and son team who run Salta, for doing such a good job.

Salta10 Rambam St., Ra’anana(09) 748-5983Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m.Friday: 8 a.m.-3 p.m.Kashrut: Ra’anana Rabbinate.

The writer was a guest of the restaurant.