If you hurry you can still enjoy Claro’s special month, which will be served through February 15. Last year, Claro, with chef Ran Shmueli at the helm together with acting chef Tal Feigenbaum, looked at small growers, farmers, dairies and wineries from the Golan Heights and created a mouth-watering menu. This year, they took to Jerusalem and the Judean Mountains for inspiration and ingredients.
Claro, like many culinary establishments these days, talks in their menu about farm-to-table, seasonal ingredients and local, small growers. But unlike most, Claro doesn’t just talk the talk, they actually follow these ideas every day of the year.
For this special month, they built a rich menu that represents the excellent vegetables, special goat cheeses, wonderful wines from the area and many herbs that grow in the mountains and created a menu that brings the story of winter in Jerusalem and the surrounding nature.
“Just a short journey from our restaurant in Tel Aviv, we discovered many layers of inspiration in the form of small, picturesque places and professional producers that take their heritage very seriously. In Jerusalem, we rediscovered the small alleys that offer sweet intoxicating smells of kugel as well as the spices at Mahane Yehuda and the Old City. All of which we used to build a menu that is soaked with Jerusalemite culinary traditions.”Ran Shmueli
“Just a short journey from our restaurant in Tel Aviv,” says chef Shmueli, “we discovered many layers of inspiration in the form of small, picturesque places and professional producers that take their heritage very seriously. In Jerusalem, we rediscovered the small alleys that offer sweet intoxicating smells of kugel as well as the spices at Mahane Yehuda and the Old City. All of which we used to build a menu that is soaked with Jerusalemite culinary traditions.”
What's on the Jerusalem-inspired menu?
We started with a small appetizer from the regular menu – just because we cannot resist it every time we are here – the Garden Bruschette, a small very thin leaf of filo pastry with parsley cream, fresh leaves and Kadosh cheese. Yummy. Together with a glass of Chardonnay from Sphere winery that specializes in white wines only, it is a perfect match.
Then we turned out attention to the specials on the menu. The chicken ravioli was a must. Filled with chicken and swimming in dark, rich root vegetables and chicken stock, it was a winning dish (NIS 68). Across the table, it was the Jerusalem Bagel that came out of the hot tabun oven, sliced open and served with brown egg salad and hot smoked trout (NIS 74).
The Jerusalem Kugel is the most special of the special menu. Seared in goose fat with veal sweetbreads and oranges (NIS 136), it was a heavy and delicious dish, perfect for a cold evening. To add some crunch, we had the Judean Mountains salad on the table with green leaves and herbs gathered in the mountains and fresh Gibne, goat cheese in a sweet-sharp vinaigrette with za’atar and silan.
Claro’s talented pastry team created two excellent desserts for the special menu. The first is a strawberry malabi with Za’atar and yogurt crumble, a ravishingly beautiful dish that was light and not too sweet (NIS 52). The second dessert was nut Kataif, filled with a nut and cinnamon mixture and served with a perfect walnut ice cream and tahini-honey sauce (NIS 58). Excellent.
Again, it was a pleasure to sit in the beautifully appointed, spacious dining area and enjoy the service unmatched by other Tel Aviv restaurants. Our hostesses, Hadas, who helped us last year, came to say hi and Ronni, who was just as knowledgeable as well as very sweet, was kind and friendly yet very professional and prompt. We love coming here and try to return whenever we have friends from abroad or a family celebration.
The dishes offered on the special menu were innovative, beautifully displayed and made with such attention to detail that every bite brought new flavors and aromas to the palate. The service and atmosphere were perfect and the setting was as beautiful as it gets.
ClaroNot kosher. Ha’arba’a Street 23, Tel Aviv.Phone: 03-601-7777.Sunday-Thursday: Noon-4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.-11:30 p.m.Visit: http://clarotlv.com.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.