I was happy to hear of yet another Jerusalem restaurant which decided to open its doors on the weekends. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for the religious status quo that exists in some parts of the city, but sometimes I just don’t feel like slaving over a hot stove all Friday afternoon and would much rather just go out and have someone else do the cooking.
Situated on King George Street, right in the center of Jerusalem, Macaroni, was recently bought out by a new owner, who decided to upgrade the menu, loose the kashrut certificate and stay open on weekends. After working as an Egged bus driver for several years, Erez Gans decided that it was time for a change. After looking around for several months, Gans walked into Macaroni and immediately fell in love with the place. “It is quaint, homey and warm”, says Gans, “I want people to feel at home, while offering them excellent food & wine at reasonable prices”.
The food is influenced by Italian and French cuisine and includes a variety of pasta dishes, pizza, salads, soups, seafood dishes, meat and several specials which usually change on a daily basis.
The menu was created by Chef Sima Ovadia, who some Jerusalemites may remember from the excellent ‘Bistro’ in Ein Karem. Ovadia has a true passion for food and when asking her for some recommendations you can see the spark in her eye.
We reviewed our options and decided to order a bowl of cream of asparagus soup and a small portion of eggplant parmesan. The soup was rich and creamy with cubes of both white and green asparagus rising with every spoonful. The eggplant parmesan was also pretty tasty and went very well with a glass of Binyamina’s Cabernet Sauvignon of the winery’s Yogev series.
Another sip of the wine and our main courses arrived, pasta with shrimp and cream sauce for the lady and a rib-eye steak for me. Both dishes were very generous and we were barely able to finish them. The steak was served medium just as I requested along with a baked potato, both were covered with a rich mustard based sauce. The sauce was alright, but I would have preferred to have it served on the side or in a smaller quantity.
We gave in to our sweet tooth and decided to order a couple of deserts. Our favorites were the walnut pie and the baked 'apple fingers' – crispy philo dough stuffed with baked apples seasoned with cinnamon and brown sugar, basically a twist of an apple strudel. Sounds simple but when done properly this basic dessert is very tasty. Just as we were getting ready to leave Ovadia mentioned that she plans on adding additional dishes to the menu and after hearing some of her ideas, it sounds like Macaroni is on the right track.
Mint tea and a small cup of espresso and it was time to call it a night.
28 King George St., Jerusalem.