Classic continental cuisine

For Italian fare with flair, Bellini fills the bill.

Italian food  (photo credit: ANATOLY MICHAELO)
Italian food
(photo credit: ANATOLY MICHAELO)
A culinary jewel in Tel Aviv offering delightful Italian cuisine in a charming setting, Bellini has become a favorite among Italian food aficionados.
Nestled in the Suzanne Dellal plaza for more than 20 years, Bellini is the place to go before or after a performance. In winter, sit in the Tuscan farmhouse setting, and in the summer enjoy peoplewatching on the plaza from the outdoor tables. Rough stucco walls, tiled floors and a highbeamed ceiling accommodate tables covered in red or greencheckered cloths.
Bellini features a selection of classic Italian starters and main dishes such as pasta, fish, meat and seafood. Its wine list has a good selection of Italian wines, wellknown Israeli wines and a choice of boutique wines.
Upon sitting down, we were served the house cocktail (complimentary for every diner) – a frozen variation on the beverage for which the place is named. It was very tasty.
We started our meal with the salmon ceviche (NIS 48). I’m a sucker for a good ceviche, and this place delivers that. It was a delectable fusion of sweet, spicy and citric. The fish in the ceviche was very fresh, and the sauce was potent and flavorful without overpowering the fish.
This was followed by Roman artichokes with roasted wild mushrooms on a bed of soft polenta (NIS 48). Slightly charred and smoky, the tender artichoke leaves and stems were delicious.
The polenta was rich, creamy and comforting.
Next up was the entrecote risotto (NIS 94). The creamy and al-dente texture of this dish simply blew me away. The slices of entrecote were tender and juicy, and the flavors were rich and fragrant without being overly oily or heavy.
After a bit of a breather and enjoying two glasses of a lovely red from the Petit Castel Winery, it was on to mains.
First up was corvina fillet on a bed of gnocchi. The fish was cooked perfectly, with crispy skin, and I could really taste the meatiness and freshness of the corvina.
We then tried the black truffle gnocchi (NIS 74). The gnocchi at Bellini are pillow pockets of paradise. I have never had such light and fluffy gnocchi in my life.
The sauce was creamy and flavorful, with just the right amount of truffle. Each bite was pure melt-in-your-mouth-comfort food heaven.
This was followed by the pepperoni pizza (NIS 59). The crust was perfect – crisp on the outside and pleasantly soft on the inside.
The pizza also wasn’t dripping in cheese, so the ingredients really stood out.
Last, we were served the veal schnitzel with artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, capers, white wine and lemon, served with roasted potatoes. The schnitzel was absolutely divine. It was tender and not overly seasoned, so you could actually taste the meat. It wasn’t drenched in sauce either, so it was still crispy and didn’t taste oily.
Meanwhile, we were served shots of the Italian aperitif Sambuca, which was brought to the table burning with blue flame, with coffee beans.
The liqueur helped, so we were ready for dessert. We shared the tiramisu and the lemon cheesecake. Both were sinfully good.
Bellini has carefully kept an old world atmosphere while serving top-of- the-line dishes. For a gourmet meal with elegant atmosphere and nearly faultless service, Bellini has it covered.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
Bellini Not kosher 6 Yehielli St., Tel Aviv Tel: (03) 517-8486