The Tel Aviv Sheraton Hotel serves up a rich Shabbat buffet.
By GLORIA DEUTSCH
The Sheraton Tel Aviv Hotel held a party for 450 people recently – business associates, journalists and a few celebs – and put on an amazing spread for the guests.The good news is that much of the food served is also available for people visiting the restaurant for a dinner or for those who spend a Shabbat in the hotel or want to celebrate an event there.There was so much to choose from on the buffets around the hotel swimming pool that one did not know where to start. Waiters were circulating with trays of hors d’oeuvres, so to go with the glass of champagne with which we were greeted we nibbled on fritto misto vegetables (deep fried in batter) served with aioli herbs and lemon, ravioli beef carpaccio stuffed with zucchini and mint, and toasted bread with matbucha, a spicy tomato salad originally from Morocco.All were delectable and perfect for stimulating the hearty appetites needed to cope with what was to follow.There was a constant grilling of meat in one corner of the area, from which emerged a steady stream of grilled asado, fat chorizo sausages and steaks. A dedicated carnivore would have been in seventh heaven and not even bothered with the accompanying salads - Asian cabbage, chimichurri and baked potatoes.For nonmeat eaters, there was also a fish station turning out fillet of sea bass served with grilled fresh asparagus and a basket of Mediterranean tomatoes.Needless to say, these do not operate on Shabbat, but the same meats and fish are served roasted rather than grilled.AdvertisementFor those who like their fish raw, there was a ceviche station with a variety of slivers of fish - sea bass, sea bream, among others - which were served with olives, tomatoes and green onions flavored with my favorite herb, cilantro (coriander). I was a little worried about having raw fish on a hot autumn evening but thankfully suffered no ill effects. It was obviously ultra-fresh.There was a good choice of salads. One could choose Jaffa salad, which consisted of fried cauliflower, garden vegetables and spring onion, the whole flavored with tehina rather than vinaigrette; hearts of iceberg lettuce in mustard vinaigrette; fennel salad with hot peppers, lemon and coriander; and eggplant salad with peppers and roasted tomatoes. All these are available at the Shabbat buffet.I was particularly taken with the tomato station – a whole section devoted to the humble tomato in all its incarnations and all prepared in different ways. From the huge beefsteak tomato to the miniature cherry ones now available, the choice was dizzying.After a savory meal like this, the absolutely perfect dessert was the one they chose to serve – a selection of exotic fruits on ground ice served with a choice of sorbets. There were mango, pineapple and citrus in all its varieties, a brilliantly carved watermelon, plus a station for herbal teas, mint drinks and coffee. What more could one want?The writer was a guest of the hotel.Sheraton Tel Aviv HotelKosher115 Hayarkon Street, Tel AvivTel: (03) 521-1111Open: Friday dinner and Shabbat lunchNIS 295 per person
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