Year in Review: Best new restaurants in TA 2012

Tel Aviv is well known for exquisite cuisine; here's a list of some of the best restaurants that opened this year.

44 (photo credit: Karen Biton Cohen)
(photo credit: Karen Biton Cohen)
It could be said that 2012 was the year known more for what didn’t happen instead of what did. Most notably, the Mayans had it wrong, or we interpreted it incorrectly, and the world didn’t come to an end. After an eventful 2011, 2012 was quiet and stagnant in comparison. In fact, the culinary scene here in Tel Aviv reflected that very energy and it seemed that innovation was sparse and infrequent.

However, it is in the darkest nights that the stars shine the brightest and those who rose up this year, really left a deep impression and it was the ladies that led the way. Hats off to the women who paved the way in 2012 for leading us into 2013 with the example that quality, creativity and hard work are essential elements in any phenomenal dining experience.Here is to a New Year, to 2013 with elections coming up and a fresh new start, a big step forward and positive shifts in our dynamic global world. In folklore tradition around the magic behind the number three, this year we are proud to present the three Best New Restaurants of 2012.OasisNot only the best new restaurant of 2012, but arguably, currently the best restaurant in Tel Aviv. Few chefs in Israel can contend with Chef Rima Olvera’s abundance of experience, talent, and deep knowledge about a variety of cultures and foods. Rima and her business partner, Ilan, fuse their polar qualities to provide a matchless dining experience. Every dish is made in house using authentic and complex techniques to create dishes that are both unique and remain true to their country of origin.The menu reflects Olvera’s vast knowledge of food and true understanding of multifarious techniques developed through working almost thirty years in the industry, travelling the world to work with different chefs, and a genuine respect for food. The top quality ingredients come from across the world, the best farms in Israel, and Olvera’s private garden. Oasis is a culinary gem that you sure don’t want to miss.Tchernokovsky 1(03)620-6022Sunday - Friday 7 p.m.-11:30 p.m.Cuisine: InternationalNot kosher44At 44, Chef Osnat Hoffman merged her formal education at the French Culinary Institute in New York and her admiration for South-East Asian cuisine to design a menu that blends French technique with Asian inspired dishes. The dishes reflect her educational background and her inventive spirit, professional and playful. As a veteran of Joz Ve Loz, Hoffman echoes her experience there through an experimental menu that changes daily. Her fearless flamboyance to play with dishes and test culinary boundaries is an inspiration to the diner.The menu ranges from dishes such as traditional pho from Vietman, to clams served in a bowl of coconut milk and chili paste, to grilled filet served atop fresh pineapple and sweet onion drizzle.Whether it’s a meal inside the artsy interior or under the large mulberry tree in the 44 garden, Hoffman promises an exciting meal in an intimate dining space.29 Nachalat Binyamin(03)566-4087Monday -Thursday6 p.m.-last customer; Friday lunchCuisine: InternationalNot kosher
NOLA American BakeryWhen Talya Rasner desperately craved her mother’s and grandmother’s traditional New Orleans meals, she came up with a solution to take a leap forward and open an authentic American bakery influenced by the recipes of the Big Easy. Po Boys and buttermilk biscuits don the menu with other traditional dishes intended to take you back to a classic American diner. Inspired by her favorite dishes across the US, Talya proudly claims Nola to be her “personal America.”Talya combines traditional family recipes, while partnering up with professional baker Harriet Sternsteinto create American bakery favorites such as coffee cake, pumpkin cheesecake, and New York-style bagels.  Their passion and love for their favorite baked goods pushes this magnetic duo to strive for excellence to constantly deliver dishes that bring the comfort and personality.Complete with black and white tiled floors, birds of America wallpaper, and pastel green and yellow wooden chairs, Talya and Harriet are bringing the best of the deep South to Tel Aviv where every day is Mardi Gras and there is always a reason to celebrate.197 Dizengoff(03) 523-0527Sunday -Thursday 7:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.Friday 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.Cuisine: American bakery, restaurant/cafe, coffee shopNot kosherTasteTLV is the ultimate culinary guide for dining in Tel Aviv.