I celebrated my 30th birthday a while back now. The best way to celebrate this special day is, in my opinion, to choose the correct location in which to eat to your heart and your stomach’s content. On this day I was joined by my religiously observant friend, who insists that the trendy and healthy thing to do these days is eat kosher. And so now, in addition to fulfilling our culinary requirements, we needed to find a kosher restaurant. Obviously, I wasn’t willing to compromise on quality (fine, don’t melt butter on my steak) and so the location chosen was veteran restaurant L’entrecote (7 years is nothing to scoff at on the Tel Aviv dining scene.)
L’entrecote is located on Nachalat Binyamin Street, a central location that in the years since the restaurant’s opening has become a culinary and nightlife destination with great restaurants and hip bars in abundance.
We arrived in early in evening before the place had filled up, so we were able to choose our favourite table. We sat down on the comfortable sofas covered in round pillows of various sizes and were generally impressed by the restaurant’s interesting design. The restaurant’s look has got a romantic Parisian feel, combining wall sconce lighting with parquet floors and warm wood tables placed in intimate corners. Dispersed throughout are columns that create easy borders between the restaurant’s various areas.
The menu is meat based with a French touch, adapted to the gluttonous appetite of the Israeli diner. The food, most of it from scratch, is prepared in the restaurant’s kitchen in keeping with the strictest quality control. In the afternoon there is a business special’s menu that will appeal to various pocketbooks and events with special menus can be held for up to 100 people.
The meal started with a carafe of wine and many warm wishes for my birthday along with which came the starters: warm palate pleasing artichoke hearts cooked in olive oil and lemon, and a dish of mini kebabs. Served with tehina the kebabs were incredibly juicy. The goose liver pate, which came with toasts and onion jam, was a bit conventional, but tasty all the same. The dish that managed to steal the show was the seared tuna served as a sort of carpaccio (but not sliced so thin) in a sweet marinade. We enjoyed the perfect flavours and the roasted peppers which gave the dish lovely colour.
After enjoying the bounty of our starters, we leaned back into the round cushions for a little rest. After a short while, the mains were delivered to our table. I had chosen the entrecote while my friend selected a classic for her – the sea bream. The fish was halved and filleted, decorated with sprigs of thyme and served on a bed of green beans and colourful peppers. My friend enjoyed her dish and loved the melt-in-your mouth fish. The entrecote, which awoke my sense of gluttony the moment it was placed on the table, had been flame grilled, professionally salted and peppered and the result brought a wide satisfied smile to my face. The piece of meat was cooked just as I’d ordered it (medium) and was tender and juicy. I immediately understood delicious can be accomplished even without the addition of butter. With the steak came a dish of oven-roasted potatoes and a green salad.
It’s unnecessary to add that while our plates were quickly emptied, we did remember to leave a little space for dessert: crème brulee and chocolate soufflé. The desserts helped us sweeten the end of our meal and brought me to the realization that kosher food can most certainly make the grade – everything was high quality and delicious. It all just depends, of course, on the kitchen – and the kitchen at L’entrecote is doing a mighty fine job.
28 Ahad Ha’am, corner of Nachala Binyamin, Tel Aviv