For a gluttonous food lover like myself, a return visit to a restaurant is practically punishment when every night before bed I take stock of my accomplishments, considering all the new tastes I succeeding in encountering that day. On the other hand, my partner was so enthused about our last visit to the romantic Gabriel that I knew I was holding the winning card in my hand; one which would also give me the chance to get to know Gabriel’s atmosphere and kitchen on a deeper level.
And so we found ourselves once again walking down a Jerusalem street towards Gabriel. Despite being a regular day in the middle of the week, the restaurant was almost totally full. We decided, unlike last time, to choose the dishes ourselves and not ask the waiter for a recommendation. The wines offered by the glass were nice, and those interested in a bottle will enjoy the restaurant’s amazing wine cellar.
For a starter my partner ordered the sautéed chicken livers in cassis and fig sauce. The livers were served with halved figs and a thick sweet sauce. They were super soft, cooked properly and the sauce enriched their flavour. This dish belongs to the section of the menu called ‘A moment before the main’, differentiating it from the starters, and including a side dish. My partner, though thrilled with the dish, pleaded with me to help her so she could save room for the main, so I, with more than ample experience in this department, skipped the warm house bread and the excellent dips in order to lend a hand. For my starter I ordered the sea-fish ceviche – a lovely and light dish spread out over a large white plate with a few decretory vegetables. The white wine I ordered complemented the first course, making for an utterly satisfying experience.
I was more than prepared for the mains. No small challenge awaited me here: I ordered a grilled cut of entrecote in beef stock and whiskey sauce, while my partner ordered an osso bucco stew of meat and root vegetables – and she even made me promise to share it with her. When I am served good meat I immediately feel like I need no evidence to prove that man is not a vegetarian animal. The entrecote was done as I requested – medium, and the meat was tender, as one would expect of meat that has evidently been properly aged before being placed on the grill. The whiskey and beef stock sauce added wonderful aromas, but didn’t really tamper with the taste of the quality meat. After a few glorious bites I skipped to my partner’s dish, a classic osso bucco made from the back section. The meat was soft and succulent, falling easily from the bone. This is a great main dish offering a bit of everything – vegetables and meat with good red wine.
The dessert menu at Gabriel changes from visit to visit, and this time, just as the last, the desserts didn’t disappoint. We accompanied them with a cup of espresso, which was also strong and great quality. But best of all was the elegant atmosphere and the amazing service. Like a truly great restaurant, Gabriel proves enjoyment only increases with each visit.
7 Ben Shetach, Jeruslaem