It always astounds me how similar my taste in food is to that of my sister, Evelyn. I’m sure genetics come into play in some shape or form, and I should be used to it by now, and yet it surprises and amazes me every time. It’d been a while since we'd last gone out to a restaurant together, and I was curious to put my genetic theory to the test.
We decided on the two-month-old Angelica Fine Grill, satisfying independent cravings for good meat. Evelyn is very pregnant, and for her it is thus legitimate; I just really like meat, legitimate in its own way. We peered over the menu like two kids comparing a very exciting adventure novel: “Did you SEE the veal liver?” “Did you get to the goose confit with apples and chestnuts??” “Filet tartar! Sashimi on grilled eggplant!! Oh, why must I be pregnant now!?!” (That was my sister, decrying pregnancy's raw food ban).
Angelica has a varied menu, with a little bit of every major kosher meat group- and also fish and vegetarian options. What ties them all together is the quality of the food, which is based on what the season has to offer, as chef and co-owner Erez Margi explained.
In season currently are Jerusalem artichokes, which we both love. Thus we opened with a cream of artichoke soup. Perfect for the cold (and getting colder) Jerusalem nights, it was a creamy and ideal way to start the evening, along with the antipasti, bread and aioli that was served once we had ordered.
For the appetizer, the enthusiasm of the waitress had easily persuaded us to order the veal cheek ravioli in a veal jus and truffle oil. It was a single large ravioli swimming in the veal jus and truffle oil sauce. The veal cheek ravioli was perfectly cooked, but it was the sauce that made the dish wonderful enough for Evelyn and I to consider drinking it with a spoon.
Our mains arrived quickly after, with Evelyn satisfying her craving for chestnuts in the goose confit with apples and chestnuts, served with a potato puree. The goose was just sweet enough, and her cravings were both satisfied. I was recommended the lamb shoulder with herbed bulgur and roasted garlic. As I smiled and ate, Evelyn quickly pointed out that the lamb was cooked just how I liked it, so that the meat peels off smoothly. The bulgur was warm and served with pomegranate seeds, making me wonder why my latest bulgur craze has been applied only to tabouleh. Surely warm is much better than cold?
Warm seems to be the key word for Angelica, we noted as we looked around before ordering dessert. The lighting is, thankfully, bright enough to appreciate the elegance of the dishes once they arrived, and the music is observable without being overbearing. This is no coincidence as co-owners Margi and Marcus Greshkovitz both stressed the importance to them of a calm and cozy atmosphere, with Marcus personally walking amongst diners to ensure that their meal is satisfactory.
When the cheerful waitress returned to take our dessert orders, we were offered the choice of several pies (plum with pistachio cream, apple with almond cream, chocolate and banana) served with sorbet, or chocolate soufflé. We jumped for the plum and pistachio, and requested, due to our inability to make a decision, coconut and berry sorbet. Surprisingly, the sorbets far overtook the pie: both the sorbets were creamy rather than icy, and their contrasting tastes worked well together.
As we waddled out into the cold-night-made-warm, we both agreed that we would have to return once Evelyn gives birth to try the rawer dishes. But, really, we'd be happy for a repeat tasting of any of them.
Angelica Fine Grill
7 Shatz Street, Jerusalem