Sipping wine on the Boulevard

Bar a Vin, located as part of the French Institute in Tel Aviv, is the perfect spot for tasting French wines and having a bite

Bar a Vin (photo credit: Courtesy)
Bar a Vin
(photo credit: Courtesy)
If you love wine and a relaxing, fun place to sip and catch up with friends, Bar a Vin is the place for you. Although the restaurant has been open for more than three years, it is still relatively unknown by a lot of people, so it still has that hidden-gem vibe to it.
It is situated on Tel Aviv’s bustling Rothschild Boulevard and is part of the French Institute building. There is seating inside, but the restaurant’s large outside area overlooking the boulevard is by far the favored spot. We had the pleasure of sitting at the bar.
The bartenders and servers all know their stuff and are extremely helpful and attentive. Dor, one of the bartenders, immediately picked up on our likes and dislikes regarding wine and made solid recommendations that improved our evening.
Chef Einav Azguri combines high culinary standards with hominess and authenticity. The menu, which features fish, seafood, meat and pasta dishes, is eclectic but with both a French and Mediterranean touch. It’s clear that careful thought is put into each dish to produce aesthetic, creative and delicious results.
We began our meal with two glasses of Bonnet-Huteau Muscadet. This is a fine example of top-quality French wine: fruity with vibrant acidity, clarity and precision – absolutely delicious.
To help absorb the alcohol, we dug into some hearty appetizers.
We began with one of the daily specials: buratta with figs and prosciutto. We savored the rich and creamy texture of the cheese, drizzled with some olive oil, and paired with the salty prosciutto and sweet figs.
Next up was the beef tartare served in a brioche bun (NIS 43).
This was simple and yet also very tasty due to all of the different components. The beef tartare itself was lightly seasoned and cut into nice, tender pieces. The egg on top was perfectly poached. As we took delicate bites of the perfectly cured beef mixed with everything, I watched my companion’s eyes light up as she realized how delicious tartare could be.
This was followed by beef cheek croquettes, served with mustard and house pickles (NIS 37). If you’re concerned about carbs or cholesterol, skip these. But if you want a fantastic flavor combo, this is your dish. The croquettes had an almost mashed potato consistency, while the beef was juicy and tender. This was comfort food at its best.
In between, I tried a glass of Netiv Ofakim (NIS 51) from the Vortman Winery. I am a huge fan of Israeli blends, and Netiv is definitely one of the best, showing a velvety texture, flavors of dark fruit and spices, and a long finish.
For mains, we were presented with fillet of musar (meagre or stone bass in English) with horseradish crème fraiche and roasted tomatoes. The fish was seasoned beautifully and grilled to perfection, with crispy skin and delicate white flesh. This was a delicious dish with plenty of aromas and flavors that sat harmoniously on the palate.
Last but not least, we were treated to strips of sirloin (NIS 78) served with a side of French fries and tartar sauce. We were pleasantly surprised by the sirloin, which was a great piece of meat, generous in proportion, and the seasoning was just right and did not overpower the meat. Cutting into the steak was like slicing through a stick of butter. Needless to say, I ate my plate clean.
Then came dessert. It consisted of a devilishly decadent dark chocolate mousse. Our charming waiter suggested we try two glasses of Eau De Vie D’Etrog by the Julius Distillery. This sweet Israeli fruit brandy from the Western Galilee paired perfectly with our desserts and was a great finish to our meal.
Bar a Vin
Not Kosher
Rothschild Blvd 7, Tel Aviv
Tel: 050-336-6622
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.