Culinary news in Jerusalem

Two old favorites offer new menus.

Harvey’s Smokehouse (photo credit: ANDREW MALAKHOVSKY)
Harvey’s Smokehouse
(photo credit: ANDREW MALAKHOVSKY)
Medita in the Beit Hanatziv shopping center on Hebron Road has been one of my favorite restaurants since it opened a few years ago. I live in the neighborhood and there’s something so nice about being able to walk to a restaurant, and it’s even nicer to walk home – especially after a glass or two of wine.
Chef Motti Ohana, who also ran the recently closed Chatzer restaurant, is offering a new menu, with some great new dishes. Some of the most interesting dishes are in the section called “Farm to Table.” Roasted kohlrabi with green tahini and zaatar (32 NIS) was a fascinating take on this vegetable, and oven roasted baby zucchini on mint cream and lemon zest (32 NIS) had me scraping the plate to get every drop of sauce.
Other new appetizers include pani puri red tuna and aioli tograshi (68 NIS) were small round Indian-inspired dough balls with the red tuna inside. Even a leaf salad (56 NIS) is unique with lettuce, arugula, endive, mixed herbs, semi dried cherry tomatoes, crispy shallots and shredded hardboiled egg in a lemon and honey vinaigrette with macadamia nuts.
If you like fish, I highly recommend the sea bream kanafeh (120 NIS) which is sea bream with raw tahini and kadaif crust on a bed of cauliflower cream and almond tabbouleh. Kanafeh is a famous Palestinian dessert usually served with a sweet rosewater syrup and this savory use of the tiny thin noodles was delicious.
Medita (Credit: KARELA)Medita (Credit: KARELA)
Some of my favorite dishes are still on the menu including crispy gnocchi (118 NIS) with goose liver, smoked goose breast and veal sweetbreads in beef stock on cauliflower cream. The veal asado (110 NIS) with ginger and orange barbeque sauce is also still on the menu.
The first thing you see when you walk into Medita is a special refrigerator for aging meat, and the steaks reflect the aging process. We tried two steaks: the sirloin (44 NIS per 100 grams) and the entrecote (49 NIS per 100 grams). Both were served with chimichurri and garlic confit and were simply delicious.
The best idea at Medita is to order the taster’s menu (250 NIS per person). You will get to taste almost everything on the menu and you will have to roll yourself home.
ANOTHER NEW menu comes from Harvey’s Smokehouse in the center of town. I am also a big fan of Harvey’s since it opened a year and a half ago. A lot of the favorites like the brisket smoked with oak and hickory (32 NIS per 100 grams) and the asado smoked with cherry wood (38 NIS per 100 grams) are still there. I highly recommend the chicken smoked on mesquite with barbeque sauce (78 NIS for a half-chicken). Who knew chicken could be so moist and flavorful?
What’s new is salmon lightly smoked on a cedar plank that has been infused with beer (128 NIS). The salmon is cooked rare which might not be to everyone’s liking, but if you like sushi, you’ll like the salmon.
Other main dishes are medallions of beef fillet (158 NIS for 240 gram portion), entrecote steak (156 NIS for 300 grams) or Chateaubriand for two (295 NIS for 500 gram). Each main dish is served with a side of choice including their fantastic onion rings.
If all of this food has you too tired to drive home, you can make a night of it and stay at the brand-new Ibis Style Hotel on Ben Yehuda Street. In the morning, you can have a fantastic breakfast including fresh-made focaccia and pizzas along with stuffed mushrooms, hummus, and other delicious things.
The breakfast (100 NIS per person) is open to anyone, and in July and August they are running a special for 599 NIS per couple per night with no number of minimum nights.
101 Hebron Road
O2-566 – 4466
Sunday-Thursday: Noon – 11 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: Closed
Harvey’s Smokehouse
7 Shimon Ben Shetach
(02) 624-6444
Sunday-Thursday: Noon – 11 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: Closed
Ibis Styles
4 Ben Yehuda Street
(73) 222-8888
The writer was a guest of all of the establishments.