When I am asked how the two of us met, I always like giving him a proud look, and then telling of how I was the one who hit on him. Over the years, various details have been added to the story, either factual or fabricated, which combine into a successful narrative whole, in which I am the initiator of the relationship.
Walking around with the knowledge that I initiated such a terrific thing makes for a good feeling which needs the occasional boost. The way to maintain a relationship is to put life on hold every once in a while and meet alone, sit across from each other, and look into the other person’s eyes; to speak of today and to remember yesterday, to plan the future, and toast to life. Since the daily grind does not always allow for such a pause, I set a new rule: every week which surrounds a birthday, an anniversary, or a Valentine’s Day, is a week in which we have a date. I make sure to thoroughly mark the calendar, make reservations, and find a babysitter. All he has to do is show up. Valentine’s Day is an especially special day. Last Valentines Day we met at Miguel, a bistro on Yarkon Street. Two hours later, we left the restaurant content, slightly tipsy, and in love.
Miguel is a chef restaurant, located in the classic-European-styled boutique hotel of the same name. The windows overlook London garden, and together with the setting winter sun, it all makes for a great setting for any celebration of love. The atmosphere is a very pleasant, the space sealed from the outside noise, and quiet music plays in the background. The restaurant, painted mostly in white, and set with wooden furniture, gives an air of respectability, yet also a lack of pretension – the food speaks for itself. The chef’s creativity is apparent in the menu – especially in the first courses, which include calamari masabacha; sinful salad (tell me that doesn’t sound appetizing!); or shrimps and calamari saut?ed with spinach, pickled lemon, and yoghurt.
For openers, we ordered the banner dish of the restaurant, shrimps saut?ed in olive oil, garlic, and hyssop pesto – a wonderful dish. The shrimps, which we are accustomed to fish out of a small pool of butter, were quite delicious, and the dish as a whole was light and Mediterranean. It is noteworthy that the portion size was quite generous for a fist course.
The spinach ravioli with Roquefort and walnuts in parmesan sauce made for a celebration of flavor. The pasta envelopes, which are always prepared on-site, were chewy and delicious; the sauce had a distinct presence and combined well with the spinach. The two pasta envelopes rested in Roquefort cream, which we simply could not leave alone. The house bread we ordered was crispy and delicious, served with crushed salt, olive oil, and butter.
We took the opportunity, as we waited for the entr?es, to toast two glasses for merlot. We also cleared out the olive dish which was served with the bread – orange-scented olives which are prepared at the restaurant itself.
The entr?es were on par with the first courses, once again attesting to the chef’s creativity. The hamburger was juicy and made of premium beef. The twist was the mayonnaise accompanying the bun and fries – mayo with a bit of chili, which takes the hamburger, normally standard city fare, to another level.
We also ate a fillet of corvina fish in black-olive tapenade and potato puree. The fish was prepared with great exactness, and the orange-scented olives and chopped tomatoes kept the dish consistently interesting. The puree, soaked with the fish sauce, was terrific.
At the end of the meal, we sat and planned for the future, until the arrival of the dessert: rich chocolate cake with unsweetened whipped cream and crunchy sweetened almonds. The dessert was wonderful, but we were so full, we couldn’t finish it all.
After parting with our nice and efficient waitress, we left and he suggested that we take a walk on the promenade and look at the stars.