Balanced and beautiful

A night out at Gabriel is an intimate and elegant affair.

Gabriel restaurant (photo credit: PR)
Gabriel restaurant
(photo credit: PR)
There are those who say that if you look too much at the forest you cannot see the trees, and if you look to closely at the trees you miss out on the forest.
The metaphor is clear: Too much focus on either the micro or the macro level, and the goal or product will suffer.
At the Gabriel kosher gourmet meat restaurant in downtown Jerusalem, they have proven that a balance can not only be found, but it can be used at extremely high levels. Their attention to detail and to the atmosphere as a whole make every shekel well spent.
With my wife’s enthusiastic approval, we went to Gabriel to celebrate our anniversary. While the tables outside looked attractive, set with white tablecloths and elegant place settings, we chose to eat inside for a more intimate evening.
The interior was immaculate and inviting. Every detail was well thought out, down to the little sink for washing your hands.
We were given a cozy table in a corner under an arch of Jerusalem stone. One of the first things I noticed was that the music was at an appropriate volume to allow for conversation to be private but audible.
As soon as we were seated, our friendly and professional waiter, Nitzan, came to take our order. He told us about the various wines and which would be most fitting for our particular tastes and the meal it would be accompanying. We chose two cups of Vineyard Dance, a blend from Gevaot (NIS 38). Nitzan said we should wait five minutes to let it breathe, and though its aroma was enticing, it was well worth the wait.
For the appetizer, I decided to go with the Thai mango summer salad, made with kohlrabi, beets, carrots cucumbers, pea sprouts, roasted peanuts, rice noodles and fresh herb Thai dressing (NIS 52).
The vegetables were crisp and lightly dressed, so you enjoy each flavor with no one item overpowering the rest. It went very well with the warm, freshly baked foccacia that was brought to the whole table.
My wife chose the Sicilian eggplant salad, which included fireroasted eggplant, smoked eggplant tehina, sun-dried tomato tartare, roasted peppers and scallions (NIS 64). It was a preview for the main courses to come. The meat was done perfectly, the presentation was elegant, and you could tell the time they took to make it was well spent.
Between the appetizer and the main course, we were served homemade mint sorbet in a shot glass to refresh the palate. It did the trick for both of us.
For the main course, my wife had a 300 gr. premium aged entrecote steak with grilled vegetables and mashed potatoes (NIS 146).
Cooked flawlessly, the meat was tender and juicy, the vegetables were crunchy but not overdone, and the potatoes were smooth and fluffy. My wife would have liked the mashed potatoes to be more seasoned, but I enjoyed the purity of the taste.
For the main course, I chose the Rio de la Plata, a duo of double rib lamb chops and “surprise” steak, accompanied by roasted garlic mashed potatoes, a mix of grilled vegetables and chimichurri sauce (NIS 249). It was delicious. To our delight, the portions of both our dishes were very generous.
Our gracious waiter brought us two flutes of Binyamina Muscat dessert wine. And, for the occasion, chocolate cake with hot fudge and (parve) ice cream. The dessert was so good, that we took a pause from talking and just let the whole experience of the evening sink in.
It was a night to remember, and Gabriel was well worth trying out.
The restaurant also offers a business lunch from noon to 5 p.m. Gabriel Kosher – Rabbanut Mehadrin Min Hamehadrin 7 Ben-Shetah Street, Jerusalem Tel: (02) 624-6444