Over the tracks

Leading Israeli culinary masters feted at chaotic gala event

Over the tracks (photo credit: LEV COMUNICATION)
Over the tracks
(photo credit: LEV COMUNICATION)
The last time I wrote about the Regina restaurant in HaTachana (The Station) in Tel Aviv’s Neveh Tzedek neighborhood four years ago, I called the piece “Regina revisited,” so this must be the third time I and my companion have cased the joint.
Under new ownership it all looks the same – an attractive old building from Turkish times which was reputed to be the home of the station master when trains left from Jaffa to Haifa and then on to Syria and Lebanon at the turn of the last century.
The new proprietors are Chabad Hassidim, but the place looks the same, with the original arched windows and several dining areas, both inside (with small private and cozy rooms) and out in the courtyard, parts of which are covered against the elements and pleasantly heated.
As it was a very cold night, I decided to go for a hot soup as my starter. It was a lentil and lokshen creation with a strong meaty flavor, and did a good job of thawing me out.
My companion, meanwhile, savored the delights of a sophisticated liver pâté, served with a sweet raisin sauce (NIS 52). The texture and flavor were both authentically Gallic, and his only complaint was the round of toasted baguette accompanying the pâté, which posed a serious threat to his teeth.
We also had to have the background music lowered to a bearable volume, which the proprietors were happy to do.
For my main course I decided to go for the denis (sea bream fillets) and no less than three large fish, nicely grilled and seasoned, were set before me together with majadra, a neat mound of basmati rice with black lentils (NIS 120).
The fish was topped with strips of grilled red pepper and accompanied by a spicy tomato sauce. My only complaint was that the grilled vegetables were cold. Perhaps they were meant to be.
My companion fared better with his entrecôte steak, which was rare but tender as he likes it, and with a wire basket of nicely hot roast potatoes (NIS 145).
The dessert menu promised lemon and chocolate pies, but when the waitress came to take our order, neither was available.
We were compensated, however, with a very good apple dessert consisting of crispy puff pastry topped with a sweet apple filling embellished with nuts, raisins and cranberries.
The liquid refreshment throughout our meal was a bottle of Psagot Sinai red wine (2018), a rich and mature fruity red with a warm afterglow.
Two glasses of hot sweet mint tea ended this very satisfying meal.
Neveh Tzedek, Tel Aviv
Tel: (03) 736-7474
Open: Sun.-Thurs., noon till 11:30 p.m.; Friday, noon until two hours before Shabbat.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.