Radler: Fantastic food at the heart of Tel Aviv, Israel - review

Radler, chef Moshiko Gamlieli’s new brasserie, is one of the hottest new places in Tel Aviv.

 BEEF TORTELLINI (photo credit: DAN PERETZ)
BEEF TORTELLINI
(photo credit: DAN PERETZ)

Celebrated chef Moshiko Gamlieli opened a new place at the Alberto Boutique Hotel, located in the heart of Tel Aviv, with the restaurant offering contemporary cuisine, serving fish, seafood and meat dishes.

Much like Gamlieli’s other restaurant, his new place is quickly becoming a popular spot for the city’s foodies, and we made our way there before securing a table here will become impossible. 

With a well-stocked large bar dominating the intimate and modernly designed space, this elegant restaurant is a wonderful addition to the ever-growing culinary scene of the city.

We were seated in the middle of the restaurant, which, like many places these days, is lit in a way that may compliment diners and create the right atmosphere, but makes it very difficult to read the menu. 

Taking a seat at the fantastic restaurant

As soon as we were seated, we noticed a bucket of ice holding two bottles of real Champagne next to our table, as if saying – “we are here to have a good time.” We couldn’t ignore the buckets, and immediately ordered two glasses (priced very reasonably at NIS 42 per glass), before consulting the menu.

 CHEF MOSHIKO GAMLIELI (credit: DAN PERETZ) CHEF MOSHIKO GAMLIELI (credit: DAN PERETZ)

Moshiko’s recognizable hand is evident in every dish. Combining urban sophisticated presentation with earthy, country flavors, inspired by both classical European dishes and local produce. The menu consists of fresh seasonal vegetables, fresh fish and seafood, some meat dishes and freshly baked breads. Gamlieli’s culinary signature is interpreted in Radler into very contemporary brasserie dishes – simple yet very satisfying. The meal is built from small bite-size dishes to share with drinks, light first dishes and a rich collection of main dishes, as well as a small and concise dessert menu. 

With the Champagne, one of us had to have an oyster, served with citrus. It was perfect and surprisingly fresh (NIS 32). Not eating clams of any kind, I decided to go for the olive oil pickled sea-fish (NIS 38), a small appetizer that you really want to eat with their bread, served separately with butter and salty cheese.

I could go on eating only from the starter menu – I usually prefer it – but we took our host’s advice and moved on to the next stage. 

Across the table, my dinner partner simply had to try the crab spaghettini, highly recommended by our host (NIS 82). It was, he said, as good as advertised, and quickly devoured. Staying with fish, I tried the white-fish tataki (NIS 78). Tataki is usually prepared from tuna, so this was a welcome change. Served with zucchini and pesto – it was light, full of flavor and very satisfying. 

The dishes were not too large, so we still had room for main courses. I chose the classic beef cheek tortellini (NIS 94), served with a beef and herb broth. Absolutely delicious, very classic and as good as you’d get in an upscale bistro in Paris. 

My partner decided to try one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes, according to our host, the sea grouper skewer. Served with pasta and bouillabaisse broth, as well as roasted peppers and eggplant (NIS 124). It is hard to go wrong with grouper, and this dish, offering more Mediterranean flavors, was a good one.

“I believe in an experience which focuses on details, but serves simple, high-quality food done right,” he says. “Precision is important, not showing-off. The idea is to curate the menu right and make the right combination.”

The dessert menu, we felt, is not up to standard, or maybe just didn’t hit our preferences, or maybe we were already too full to be tempted, so we skipped it and left, savoring the amazing flavors of the main dishes.

“It may sound trivial but it really is not. This is a new stage for us professionally and personally.”

Nadav Laor

We create places that we want to spend time in, says Nadav Laor, one of a group of entrepreneurs who invested in the restaurant. “It may sound trivial but it really is not. This is a new stage for us professionally and personally.” 

It seems that they succeeded. 

Radler, 48 Nachalat Binyamin (corner of Ahad Ha’am), Tel Aviv. Not kosherTelephone: (03)7283830, https://radlertlv.com 

The writer was a guest of the restaurant.