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#1 Orik

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Posted 31 March 2005 - 02:19 PM

Some general observations:

It's 85 degrees outside, the mediterranean is perfectly clear and mirror smooth, but still on the chilly side for a long swim. Sand on the beach, however, is warm, smooth and clean. :lol:

Israelis don't drink? Heineken under the bridge. Dozens of bars and pubs (many of them as faux-Irish as the ones in nyc) have popped up over the last couple of years. Time to buy shares of Israeli rehab centers.

There's only one restaurant left where dinner will run you more than $60 for food. On the other hand, supply of $10-$30 meals and of very inexpensive fast/street food (McD is considered expensive) has skyrocketed.

The best way to define what the local cuisine is shaping up to be (with noted exceptions) is "lack of ingredients based cuisine", although marketing has labeled it "chef centric cuisine"

Descriptions of meals at Catit ($54 for a 20+ course tasting menu), Mul-Yam, Orca, Hatachana and other places to follow.

sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns


#2 Rail Paul

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Posted 31 March 2005 - 02:30 PM

Heineken under the bridge. Dozens of bars and pubs (many of them as faux-Irish as the ones in nyc) have popped up over the last couple of years. Time to buy shares of Israeli rehab centers.


The NYT had an article a few weeks back in which one of the majority groups (maybe the Sephardic) objected to the huge amounts of vodka consumed by immigrants from the former Soviet Union.

Sounds like the weather is wonderful, Orik.

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#3 Robert Schonfeld

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Posted 31 March 2005 - 02:32 PM

I'm not sure how just yet, but this thread has to be political and/or religious in some way. As soon as I figure out how, I'm going to report you to somebody.
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#4 Orik

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Posted 31 March 2005 - 03:32 PM

I'm not sure how just yet, but this thread has to be political and/or religious in some way. As soon as I figure out how, I'm going to report you to somebody.

One of the restaurants I intend to review is located in Metula, a laid-back town smack on the border with Lebanon. I'm sure I can find a way to make it political.

sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns


#5 Rail Paul

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Posted 31 March 2005 - 03:39 PM

I'm not sure how just yet, but this thread has to be political and/or religious in some way. As soon as I figure out how, I'm going to report you to somebody.

One of the restaurants I intend to review is located in Metula, a laid-back town smack on the border with Lebanon. I'm sure I can find a way to make it political.


are there major differences of cuisine in the north, for example, compared to elsewhere in Israel?

“Jazz musicians just get better and better as the years go by. I think chefs are the same way. You know who you are.”

 

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#6 Orik

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Posted 31 March 2005 - 04:25 PM

I'm not sure how just yet, but this thread has to be political and/or religious in some way. As soon as I figure out how, I'm going to report you to somebody.

One of the restaurants I intend to review is located in Metula, a laid-back town smack on the border with Lebanon. I'm sure I can find a way to make it political.


are there major differences of cuisine in the north, for example, compared to elsewhere in Israel?


The north is only 2 hours drive from Tel-Aviv with all the new cement and asphalt they've poured all over the place. Notable differences are the abundance of Arab and Druz restaurants (although only one of them - Al Baboor - is reputed to be good - Robert may be able to provide more input, I haven't dined in it yet) and the fairly large number of meat-centric restaurants (cattle in Israel is mostly raised in the north, so it's easy to sell the concept that it's really fresh local beef that they're serving, although given that it's all dry aged, you have to wonder what matter locale makes...)

Anyway, Restaurant Hatachana in Metula is a beef-centric restaurant, fully banking on the region's farming reputation and stating on menu that their beef is grown especially for them and aged on the premises. The results are quite good for Israel - we had a perfectly good rump steak, a decent entrecote and an acceptable, if underseasoned 500gr burger with some lamb (bad idea, rare lamb fat not chopped finely enough) and pine nuts mixed in, all priced at around $17 (including a side of horrible fries and a huge plate of excellent salads/spreads - Lebanese tahini, baba ganoush, chicken liver pate, tarama and many others). A grilled kielbasa like sausage (it apparently mimics some South African sausage) was ok.

I've had better beef in Tel-Aviv, but if you're in the area and do not expect American quality meat, this is your best bet.

sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns


#7 Orik

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Posted 31 March 2005 - 04:35 PM

Heineken under the bridge. Dozens of bars and pubs (many of them as faux-Irish as the ones in nyc) have popped up over the last couple of years. Time to buy shares of Israeli rehab centers.


The NYT had an article a few weeks back in which one of the majority groups (maybe the Sephardic) objected to the huge amounts of vodka consumed by immigrants from the former Soviet Union.

Sounds like the weather is wonderful, Orik.

Well, I'll try and avoid making this thread political (as hard as it is, given the subject matter), but alcohol consumption is no longer just a Russian thing in Israel, as it was a couple of years ago. Native israelis are not likely to consume an entire bottle of Vodka, but many of them go out for drinks instead of going to a restaurant or clubbing, an option that hardly existed before.

sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns


#8 Orik

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Posted 31 March 2005 - 04:44 PM

On the way up north, we stopped at Rosenbaum winery - a gruff looking warehouse, adjacent to stables housing the friendliest, most jolly horses I've ever seen.

To get in, you have to call a grumpy man from the nearby kibbutz, who will initially refuse to sell you any wine, but will finally agree to a case or two. They make a decent Cab and an interesting Sangiovese (although it has a somewhat bitter finish) that sell for the mixed case price of $10/bottle (but don't tell anyone I told you so, officially they sell for at least $15). After the transaction is complete, grumpy old man goes away, ranting about how he had to leave his work to make such a small sale and how they should keep the wine and sell it for more next year. Some other stops were less successful - particularly at Dalton winery, where I nearly emulated a sprinkler after tasting some of their low-end crap.

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#9 bloviatrix

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Posted 31 March 2005 - 05:00 PM

Any plans to visit other wineries? We've been drinking more Israeli wines lately and some are suprisingly good.
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#10 Orik

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Posted 31 March 2005 - 05:38 PM

Any plans to visit other wineries? We've been drinking more Israeli wines lately and some are suprisingly good.

Perhaps a better informed member can chime in. I lost track of Israeli wines about 6 years ago and I know many wineries have been established since.

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#11 Tamar G

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Posted 31 March 2005 - 06:00 PM

The proprietor of Taboon was waxing poetic about Israeli wines and he told me that there are currently a lot of Israeli wineries (I don't remember the exact number but it was surprisingly high- something like 120?).

#12 Wilfrid1

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Posted 31 March 2005 - 07:39 PM

I hope you will ensure that more Israeli restaurants open in New York when you get back. :lol:
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#13 omnivorette

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Posted 31 March 2005 - 08:44 PM

I'm not sure how just yet, but this thread has to be political and/or religious in some way. As soon as I figure out how, I'm going to report you to somebody.

One of the restaurants I intend to review is located in Metula, a laid-back town smack on the border with Lebanon. I'm sure I can find a way to make it political.

Are you going to Betula also? :lol:
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#14 bloviatrix

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Posted 31 March 2005 - 10:12 PM

Any plans to visit other wineries?  We've been drinking more Israeli wines lately and some are suprisingly good.

Perhaps a better informed member can chime in. I lost track of Israeli wines about 6 years ago and I know many wineries have been established since.

There's some good information about Israeli wineries here.

We had a Jonathan Tishbi Special Reserve about a month ago that was really outstanding. I also like the Recanati SR. I'm looking forward to trying Castel.
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#15 flyfish

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Posted 31 March 2005 - 10:15 PM

I hope you will ensure that more Israeli restaurants open in New York when you get back.  :lol:

A friend of mine, a former kibbutznik, once declared the opinion that the term "Israeli chef" constituted a perfect oxymoron. However, she was subsequently introduced to Yoni Freeman (I was told he was a sous chef at Scaramouche under Stadtlander and Kennedy) when he owned Opus Bistro in Ottawa. My friend then changed her opinion. Alas, Yoni closed up the shop to move somewhere warmer quite a long time ago...

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