Bringing new life to Eilat kosher dining

5th Avenue gives diners a taste of what they've been missing.

A meal at Eilat's 5th Avenue restaurant (photo credit: Courtesy)
A meal at Eilat's 5th Avenue restaurant
(photo credit: Courtesy)
 There was a time when Eilat had some of the best kosher restaurants in the country, but in recent years many of these places have closed, leaving mostly hotel restaurants that have served the same food for the last 10 years. Thus I was very excited to learn that some new kosher places have opened recently and took the opportunity to try 5th Avenue, a restaurant and cocktail bar that became kosher in February.
5th Avenue was opened a few years ago by Moran and Shlomo Amar. Even though they both grew up in traditional homes, having traveled everywhere and eaten everything, they opened a non-kosher restaurant to cater to the tastes of the local Eilat residents, as well as tourists. Over the years, their family has grown, and the couple has returned to their roots. They decided that they no longer wanted to work on Shabbat or serve non-kosher food in their restaurants. They sold their restaurant on the beach, which is still non-kosher, and 5th Avenue became kosher.
Together with chef Aviv Moshe, they developed a menu that would still keep their existing clients happy, while catering to new kosher clientele. Since becoming kosher, the restaurant has been in high demand for private events for both lunch and dinner.
To begin our meal, we were presented with two beautiful cocktails: a Black Forest mojito with tapioca balls, acai and lemon (NIS 48); and a kew gin cocktail with cucumber, mint, vanilla, melon and basil (NIS 48).
For starters, we let the knowledgeable restaurant manager Vera choose our starters for us, and we were not disappointed. First came the empanadas (NIS 38), a signature dish of the restaurant. The wonderfully crumbly pastry was filled with moist slow-cooked beef with truffles, served with a gazpacho dip and homemade pickles. The salmon tartare (NIS 52) contained an interesting balance of Japanese and Indian flavors. The tartare itself was made with Japanese ponzu sauce and topped with candied pecans. The perfectly crisp Indian pani puri was filled with guacamole and served atop yuzu cream. The dish was decorated with slices of pickled Japanese radish and red chili. Our final starter, goose liver mille feuille (NIS 89), could easily have been a dessert, but all the flavors worked together. The well-cooked goose liver was covered in a sweet berry jam, sandwiched between two crunchy pieces of mille feuille pastry and topped with candied orange peel and chopped nuts. It was accompanied by celery vanilla cream, which created a nice balance to the sweetness of the other ingredients. I found that the berry jam slightly overpowered the natural taste of the goose liver, but overall it was an incredibly indulgent dish that I would happily order again.
For the main course, the indulgence continued.
The beef fillet (NIS 126) was served with a rich reduced beef stock, baked garlic and a creamy truffle mash. The intense flavors worked harmoniously together, and it was hard to believe that the mash did not contain real cream. Next, we devoured the veal cheek tortellini (NIS 89), which came in a goose liver stock and teriyaki sauce, served on a bed of celery cream, topped with candied cashews. Each bite was a pleasure of flavors and textures and not a dish you would usually find in a kosher restaurant.
We ended the meal with three impressive desserts, particularly as these dishes are similar to those served at chef Moshe’s flagship restaurant, Messa, but they were parve.
Our favorite of the three, simply called textures of chocolates (NIS 54), was a beautifully presented dish with multiple chocolate components. These included dark and white chocolate macaroons, crisp yet chewy chocolate meringue sticks, chocolate sorbet, truffles, chocolate fondant and more. Although the dish was incredibly rich, it was absolutely delicious.
A close second was the crème brulee semi-freddo (NIS 48), another signature dessert of the chef. It is fair to say that I have never had such a good parve crème brulee. The crème brulee was served on top of mille feuille pastry, with caramelized banana, toffee sauce, macaroons and passion fruit sauce.
Finally, we had the traditional Israeli dessert Sabrina (NIS 48) served with Malabi cream, coconut jelly and meringue kisses. I found this dish to be overly sweet, but I know most Israelis like it this way, and the components were all very tasty.
We thoroughly enjoyed our meal at 5th Avenue, and I have already recommended it to friends heading down to Eilat. It is impressive how they have managed to create a menu that is still rich and indulgent, without the feeling that anything is missing to make it kosher. 5th Avenue is a great venue for a fun night out while vacationing in Eilat. If you want to really let you hair down, at 11 every night, the restaurant turns into a bar, with a DJ and dancing into the night.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
5th Avenue Kitchen & Bar Kosher 8 Sopron Street, Eilat Tel: (08) 633-3303 Sunday to Thursday, 6 p.m. until the last customer Saturday, half an hour after Shabbat until the last customer