A creative twist on Italian in the heart of Tel Aviv

Chef Nitzan Raz offers a fresh twist on Italian dining, leaving the diner wondering what the next dish could possibly contain.

A creative twist on Italian in the heart of Tel Aviv (photo credit: Courtesy)
A creative twist on Italian in the heart of Tel Aviv
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Most of us are preconditioned to expect the same sort of shtick from an Italian restaurant: bread, pasta, tomatoes, cheese, wine, repeat. Sure Uno Sera can do all those things, and they do them quite well, but the menu is so much more than the traditional Italian fare. Just like the surprisingly simple yet modern decor that greets you upon entrance, the menu at Uno Sera is not what you expect in an Israeli Italian restaurant. 
Luckily this is a great thing.
Uno Serra is run and operated by gourmet Chef Nitzan Raz, a former IDF soldier who began his career in Israel, before relocating to New York City to study at the French Culinary Institute and then work in a variety of upscale restaurants. Upon returning to Tel Aviv, Chef Raz opened a branch of the restaurant Sushi Samba in Tel Aviv, and began work on a variety of projects-- Uno being one of them. 
The decor of the main dining room in Uno Sera is a miraculous combination of clean, modern and inviting. The floor plan is luxuriously spacious and can accommodate a large number of people while still maintaining privacy and quiet  for each table. 
As creative as it is surprising, each dish presented to us outdid the one before it. A waiter recommended beginning with one of the many Crudi appetizers. While raw fish bruschetta isn’t exactly what we were used to at an Italian restaurant, it was definitely worth the risk. The combination of the perfectly fresh fish with the spicy aioli, olives, tomatoes and toasted bread created a combination of flavor that melded perfectly together in ways previously unseen on an Italian menu.
The Cappeletti Porcini, a mini homemade ravioli pasta with mushrooms, truffle sauce, balsamic and aged pecorino cheese is another definite highlight of the rich and varied menu. Cooked perfectly al dente and lovingly folded, the tortellini shells were only bested by the rich mushroom filling.
The best part of each dish was the absurdly fresh ingredients, with each flavor maximized to its greatest potential. 
The menu also offers a variety of creative salads, pizzas and pastas-- all of which are far from ordinary. The Isabella Salad, consisting of caramelized pear, greens, blue cheese, endive, shallot confit and honey vinaigrette, was the perfect combination of refreshing and filling.
As intrigued as we were by the Dappordella Funghi pasta, the mushroom pasta dish was overshadowed by a salty flavor. But otherwise, once again, the homemade noodles were perfectly done.
The waiter recommended we take a look at Uno Sera’s signature cocktail menu. But isn’t Italian supposed to be paired with wine, we wondered? Of course. But here at Uno Serra, why not mix it up a bit? The zesty mojitos are distinctively South Italian, wit limoncello in the place of tequila. Other cocktails take on unique flavors such as watermelon, or basil, yet somehow they are still the perfect pairing to this decadent Italian dining experience in the heart of Tel Aviv. We will definitely be back to visit.
Appetizers range from 22-58nis and main courses range from 48nis simple pastas to 122nis fish dishes. Menus are available in both Hebrew and English. 
Kosher, dairy
2 Weizmann Street Tel Aviv
Sun-Thurs until 11:30
Friday: until two hours before Shabbat
Saturday: beginning 1 hour after Shabbat ends