Restaurant Review: Just the right fit

For a fun night out in Tel Aviv, the place is Tailor Made.

Tailor Made restaurant (photo credit: PR)
Tailor Made restaurant
(photo credit: PR)
On Allenby Street – ground zero for Tel Aviv’s seedy nighttime scene – at least one bar does what it can to keep itself above the stereotype. While the facade of Tailor Made fits in well enough with the others that sandwich the entrance, certain details suggest that this pub has its own identity. The bar is highly stylized without the pretension of many Tel Aviv establishments. And there’s a sense of fun with love of food and drink, something I rarely find here. Tailor Made is a place to be.
We arrived just as it was opening. The space was empty, giving us ample opportunity to take in the impressive design of the pub. Tailor Made is comprised of various spaces: a stage for live music, a central bar, an outdoor bar with patio for smokers, and areas for eating, with high and low seating.
Experienced barman Nadav Hoffman has his own show behind the modern bar, where he shakes, stirs and blends drinks so brilliantly that it’s sometimes hard to focus on what you’re eating. I didn’t know what drink to order, so he asked about a few of my favorite things and proceeded to make me something that was perfect. He did this for me and my dining partner for all our drinks, each one better than the last. We began with Hoffman’s own take on an old fashioned, as well as a pineapple express. Both were delicious.
It may have been the cocktails that got the night going, but it’s for the wonderful food that I will return. Consisting of smaller tapas-type portions, the menu ranges from salads and carpaccio to fish & chips and sirloin strips.
We began our meal with the cherry tomato salad (NIS 39). The freshness of the tomatoes grabbed our attention immediately.
Accompanied by tahini, pine nuts, basil and Kalamata olives, it was an incredible interplay of sweet and savory flavors.
This was followed by golden truffle arrancini (NIS 39) – Sicilian risotto balls filled with peas, chives and Parmesan. It was fantastic. I am a cheese fiend, and the flavors when I bit into the gooey crunchy concoction was a surprise, and it was not overly salted. The arrancini were tender, golden brown and deep-fried to crisp perfection.
Next up was the oven-baked cauliflower bathed in Parmesan cheese (NIS 34). The texture was perfect – a little crispy on the edges with soft stems. Really tasty! Then we were presented with the white fish tartare (NIS 41). The fish was fresh and perfectly seasoned, with just the right amount of acid and salt. The tomato concassé had a sweetness and brightness that complemented and balanced all the flavors of the dish.
In between, Hoffman treated us to two more delightful cocktails.
We were then served to a duo of hamburger sliders (NIS 46). The burgers were cooked perfectly, which I always find tough when it comes to sliders, and were totally delicious. Two left me satisfied; three would have been better but perhaps a bit too much. The French fries were good as well.
Over the course of the evening, I saw many burger plates leave the kitchen, obviously a favorite with the customers.
The dessert offerings did not match the previous two courses.
But they were not bad at all and provided the sugar fix needed to end the meal. We tried the chocolate mousse (NIS 42) and the lollipops (NIS 34), which came in three different chocolate flavors.
Tailor Made is a perfect afterhours place to go, no matter what angle you look at it. The set-up is perfect for an intimate encounter or an exciting night out with friends. Tailor Made, it seems, has mastered the art of having a great time.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
Tailor Made
Not kosher
99 Allenby St., Tel Aviv
(03) 503-3386