Dining: Nostalgic in Neveh Tzedek

Dallal serves dishes that are both elegant and sumptuous

Dallal restaurant. (photo credit: Courtesy)
Dallal restaurant.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Dallal restaurant is situated within walking distance of the Suzanne Dellal Center in Tel Aviv’s Neveh Tzedek. The combination of Neveh Tzedek and the location of the restaurant creates a magical atmosphere that takes patrons back in time to when Neveh Tzedek was one of the first neighborhoods in Tel Aviv.
The restaurant is an intimate place, and its unadorned charm makes you feel right at home. The friendly wait staff helps make everyone feel comfortable. We watched as smiling servers catered to Hebrew, English and Spanish speakers alike.
Dallal’s menu is a culinary melting pot, and the food on offer is both elegant and sumptuous.
Chef Golan Gurfinkel is the mastermind of the seasonal winter menu. His knowledge of food versatility was apparent in the taster’s platters we were served.
We started with the forest mushroom and mascarpone tortellini (NIS 56). It was beautifully presented and looked exquisite with the small handmade tortellini. The pasta was freshly made, bathed in a very flavorful sauce.
This was followed by black lentils, roasted heart of eggplant with garlic yogurt and melted Brie (NIS 48). I really enjoyed the tender eggplant and lentils. The dish had a unique flavor that surprised and delighted me at every bite.
Another dish that was as impressive in its presentation as it was in its flavor was the fish shwarma (NIS 62) in a cream of hummus, onion and sumac with a spicy tomato and coriander salsa.
I’d never had fish shwarma before, and the image I had conjured up in my mind wasn’t especially appealing. But this dish was my favorite appetizer of the night, lightly seasoned, super moist and delicate, and totally un-fishy.
I know that roasted artichokes (NIS 62) are plain and simple, but too many restaurant mess it up.
Here, it was cooked to perfection and seasoned well. Roasted and smoky in flavor, it was accompanied by a tomato vinaigrette that was quite delicious.
After a bit of a breather, it was on to the mains. We began with the sea bass fillet (NIS 148) on egg yolk linguine and truffles with saffron cappuccino foam. The sea bass was soft, flaky and melted in my mouth. The linguine was cooked perfectly, and the truffle sauce was light but very flavorful.
And I loved that it wasn’t creamy because creamy sauces tend to be too rich.
This was followed by the beef fillet (NIS 167) with potato and chestnut gratin. It was a great piece of meat, generous in proportion, and the seasoning was just right.
Delicious to the very last bite.
For dessert, we enjoyed the local strawberry and pistachio cake (NIS 52). The cake itself was moist and had a nice pistachio flavor. The accompanying red berry sorbet was light and refreshing. This was followed by an equally delicious brandied chestnut parfait (NIS 52).
We ended our evening by taking a stroll in Neveh Tzedek and enjoying the mild winter breeze coming from the sea. When your stomach is full and your heart is happy, what could be better?
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
Not kosher
10 Shabazi Street, Tel Aviv
Tel: (03) 510-9292