Sabra cuisine

Herzliya Pituach’s Rosenberg serves upscale Israeli food.

Rosenberg (photo credit: MATAN KATZ)
(photo credit: MATAN KATZ)
With a name like Rosenberg, one could well imagine that the food served in this restaurant would be classic Ashkenazi fare: gefilte fish, kishka and the like. But the food in this modern, sleek eatery is quintessential contemporary Mediterranean-Israeli, with an emphasis on fresh fish and quality meat.
The main room on the ground floor is dominated by a long, fully stocked bar, while the small tables on the upper floor hint at a cozier, more intimate atmosphere. The background music is loud and rhythmic; fortunately, the management was amenable to our request to lower the volume.
The alcohol menu lists five specialty cocktails; unfortunately, the one we wanted was not available. With nary a vodka or tequila option left among the four remaining choices, we turned instead to the wine list, which – while not extensive – was internationally representative, and offered a reasonable selection by the glass.
As we perused the bilingual dinner menu, we snacked on the house bread, a particularly appetizing cross between a pretzel and a Jerusalem bagel (NIS 21). “Alice’s bagel” was served piping hot, and accompanied by a mild salsa, with zhug on the side that could be used to get to the desired level of spiciness.
The evening menu comprises three sections: Small dishes (NIS 18-24), medium dishes (NIS 39-61) and large dishes (NIS 64-179). There are vegan/ vegetarian options in each category. Our small appetizer was “eggplants and tulum cheese” – an eggplant salad swimming in olive oil and studded liberally with clumps of the white goat’s milk cheese. This refreshing dish was bursting with freshness and flavor.
Our intermediate dish was raw fish with “Arabic salad, soft-boiled egg and old-style cream.” To our delight, the novel and intriguing juxtaposition of these ingredients – fresh white fish sprinkled with coarsely ground black pepper, a vegetable salad that was heavy on the coriander, one mediumboiled egg, and a large dollop of a hybrid of sour cream and cream cheese – worked, both in concert and separately.
When it came to the main courses, it did not take much to nudge us toward the steaks, after the manager explained that the they are aged in-house. First was the lamb T-bone, which came together with Turkish kebab and burned (sic) eggplant salad. The kebab was juicy and perfectly seasoned, while the lamb T-bone was the best of its genre I have ever had; I was just sorry it was not the size of a beef T-bone. The pale eggplant was the only ordinary thing on the plate.
It was a tough choice between the hanger steak and the entrecôte; we chose the latter after learning that it was not always available. The slices of medium-rare steak were positively succulent, and complemented nicely by mashed potatoes that were rich and creamy.
The dessert menu listed five very common desserts (NIS 18-36): two Middle Eastern ones, two Western ones, and one sorbet. Our waitress recommended the basbousa, which was denser than most, and came with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It was the cheesecake, though, that stole the show. It looked unremarkable, but the texture was just right, the sour cream frosting ideal, and the taste out of this world.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
Rosenberg Not kosher Maskit Street 32, Herzliya Tel. 09.898.0088