Evening. The sun is setting. A slight breeze from the sea offers a refreshing break from the oppressive heat of the day. Families are out walking, joggers out running, and a group of kids are playing volleyball l on the beach. Sitting on the deck at Gordo, one cannot help but relax as sailboats go by in the distance.
Located at the northern end of the central Tel Aviv boardwalk, Gordo is the prefect place to really feel like you are on vacation. The restaurant is laid out so that every table has a view of the sea. A well-stocked bar runs along to the right of the outside deck. From breakfast to lunch or dinner, this is the place to come to kick back, enjoy a good meal and unwind.
The food here is fresh. There is no doubt about that. Only the best quality ingredients are used and it shows. The menu is inspired by the restaurant’s proximity to the sea. My companion ordered the scorched purple baby calamari for her appetizer, which arrived fresh (not frozen!) and were so succulent that they just melted in our mouths. The eggplant carpaccio with feta cheese was light and refreshing. A loaf of bread, freshly baked on the premises, was the ideal accompaniment. A perfect way to begin the meal.
For our main course we decided on two dishes: the sea bream fillet – a fresh, tasty fillet in ginger pesto, served on top of onion fondue – and the roasted chicken pullet in a secret marinade – soft, juicy pieces of chicken roasted in a slightly sweet sauce. The three side dishes were also done to perfection: the stir-fried vegetables were just cooked enough to retain their crispiness, the mashed potatoes were probably the best I have ever had, and the french-fries were crispy and lacking that one thing that makes them inedible in so many other places – oil.
A relaxing resort feeling in the heart of Tel Aviv; fresh not frozen; baked on the premises. What other surprises did Gordo hold for us? Refreshing desserts that don’t make you feel like you’ve just eaten a brick, that’s what. Malabi, that Middle Eastern pudding with rose-water syrup that is so often just bland, was full of rich, soft flavor. The lemongrass cheesecake was light and fluffy. By the time that we were ready to leave it was already well into the dark hours. While I was told that live sporting events are shown in the evenings, there is no getting away from it – the sunset is still the best show in town and what better place to watch it from than Gordo.
Herbert Samuel Boardwalk
Gordon Beach, Tel Aviv (below Renaissance Hotel)