New kid on the block

Milgo & Milbar, a new restaurant on Tel Aviv’s lively Rothschild Boulevard, puts the accent on fresh, flavorful food.

Funky and eclectic Milgo & Milbar (photo credit: Courtesy)
Funky and eclectic Milgo & Milbar
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Milbar, which opened two months ago, embraces everything there is to love about Tel Aviv’s lively Rothschild Boulevard. Upon entering, one is immediately struck by the warm, welcoming atmosphere of the restaurant. There is a large bar in the center – that is packed on weekend nights – and seating areas inside and on the sidewalk.
The seating is very comfortable, in a traditional European bistro-style decor that is spacious, elegant and spotless Sitting at the bar, my dining companion and I were immediately served delicious cocktails to start, setting the tone for an evening of fine food.
As usually occurs at Middle Eastern seafood restaurants, we were presented with a wide variety of starters consisting of a mix of vegetarian and seafood mezzes.
Among the appetizers, the finest was a fish tartare. One bite, and our appetites were already whetted. The vibrant colors and textures were delicate and artistic in their presentation and flavor.
My favorite was the sliced endive, which was topped with grapes, chili and mustard vinaigrette. A delightful option for vegetarians and foodies alike.
Another stimulating starter was the stuffed purple calamari. The whole calamari stuffed with tomatoes, cilantro, feta and arak with tabouleh was the perfect Mediterranean combination of three flavors – smoky, rich and tangy. Opting for something lighter, we were presented with a fresh green salad that was absolutely delicious. Everything in the salad was evenly mixed so that you could get a little bit of everything in every bite. The ingredients were fresh and of high quality. Every time I bit into some caramelized almonds and cranberries in my salad, it was like finding a gold nugget. And the champagne vinaigrette was phenomenal.
This was followed by a deepwater fish carpaccio. The fish had that rainbow tint on it as if it were just plucked out of the ocean. It was flavorful and not completely raw, so I could appreciate it much more.
For main course, we shared the fresh blue crab in chili butter and orange. The flavoring on the blue crabs was out of this world (considering they are normally pretty flavorless, though I’ve never complained). It was delicate and light and ideal for the summer evening. The fun of breaking apart the crabs made it a pretty entertaining meal. But be warned: It’s very messy.
We ordered hot drinks and took a breather. Then came dessert. We opted for the chocolate mousse, which was a perfect end to the meal.
Milgo & Milbar boasts a laidback vibe, which is advantageous for patrons who want to stay and hang out but regrettable for those expecting swift service.
When we left, we promised ourselves to go back there soon.
Amid the variety of food we tasted was a consistent focus on fresh, wholesome flavors and ingredients and subtle, artistic presentation.
After eating at many trendy chef restaurants that try to reinvent cooking, it was so refreshing to have what can only be described as very good food.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
Milgo & Milbar Not kosher 142 Rothschild Blvd., Tel Aviv (03) 631-4214