Smooth Sailing

The Yacht Club Resto Bar charts a bold course.

Yacht Club Resto Bar (photo credit: PR)
Yacht Club Resto Bar
(photo credit: PR)
When construction marred its view of the sea, the wellknown Tel Aviv café Picasso closed. The construction work ended, the view of the Mediterranean is no longer obstructed, but Picasso never reopened. In its stead, the Yacht Club Resto Bar has set up shop, occupying the entire terrace, which affords every diner at a table an expansive view of the boardwalk and water.
The Yacht Club is owned by three young men with extensive experience in the food and beverage industry, one of whom, Tal Ganz, is a principal in a company called Mixology, which provides bartending services. Ganz, the creator of the restaurant’s signature cocktails, recommended the Mexican Crazy Mule (NIS 45), his twist on the classic Moscow Mule in which tequila replaces vodka. The result is deliciously complex and bracing.
Ganz was also adept at creating a refreshing and eye-pleasing nonalcoholic cocktail (NIS 25) for my companion.
The new restaurant’s menu is still being fine-tuned, but it is already ambitious, encompassing breakfast/ brunch, lunch and dinner. And it soon became evident that there is as much talent in the kitchen as behind the bar.
The first appetizer was a combination I had never encountered before: calamari stuffed with ragout (NIS 47). At first I had my doubts, but just a few bites of the large purple squid filled with the rich stew of beef in lamb fat convinced me that the chef definitely knows what he is doing.
The kitchen is equipped with a stone oven used for baking focaccia and pizzas.
The house focaccia (NIS 15), shaped like a baguette, was served piping hot, with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and a mild tomato salsa.
Next was the beef carpaccio (NIS 43), which came with minuscule dollops of zesty horseradish yogurt.
The razor-thin slices of hanger steak needed more of the slightly addictive condiment; and after slathering it liberally on the focaccia and meat, it made for tasty sandwich bites.
There is one salad on the menu: iceberg and salanova lettuce salad with slices of radish, apple and pear (NIS 28). Tossed in a pleasant vinaigrette, it was an excellent foil for the first two appetizers.
Very few restaurants serve bone marrow, so I was delighted to see it on the Yacht Club menu (NIS 38).
Fortunately, the chef let the dish speak for itself: two simple bones spiked with marrow spoons, alongside roasted red onion and turnip. The succulent marrow was everything it needed to be.
For main courses, my companion ordered the gnocchi with seafood (NIS 89), while I ordered the steak of the day. I am generally not particularly a gnocchi fan, but neither had I ever seen gnocchi as large as these torpedo-shaped dumplings; these feathery light pillows of potato pasta made with Parmesan cheese may be the best I have ever tasted, and they were paired nicely with shrimp and calamari in a buttery fish stock sauce.
I was told that my steak was entrecôte (NIS 35 per 100 grams), although it was served on the bone. It was grilled to perfection, and tasted like a cross between entrecôte and ribeye.
The accompanying mashed potatoes, the consistency of whipped, were also delicious.
The name of the second pasta dish was so intriguing that we ordered it as well: sciagliatelle, which resembles tagliatelle but is made on the premises from flour, olive oil and milk. This dish of flat noodles with roasted bell peppers and shredded beef topped with thin ribbons of aged Parmesan (NIS 68) was hearty and filling.
The Yacht Club offers seven wines by the glass, while a glass of the house wine (red and white) – which rotates daily – is free with the order of a main course.
There was only one dessert on the menu (although more are in the works): panna cotta in a citrus-ginger sauce with candied pineapple (NIS 32). This inspired dessert was sweet, rich and light, and a fitting ending to a very satisfying meal.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
Yacht Club Resto Bar
Not kosher
Hayarkon Street 88, Tel Aviv
Tel. (03) 609-9207