Just across the Ayalon Freeway from the Azrieli Center, in a mixed residential and office neighborhood, is a bistro barely one year old that is already making a name for itself.
In the words of chef-owner Daniella Berneman Fleishman herself, “On the border of Tel Aviv and Givatayim, I have opened a place that is the realization of a dream, combining my passion for hosting and love of food, where delicious food is served in a an atmosphere of home hospitality.”
Daniella has become popular with diverse audiences: workers from the adjacent office buildings during the day, families in the evening, and young people late at night. Parking on weekdays is only in paid parking garages, but there is plenty of free parking on evenings and weekends.
Similarly, the menu features dishes designed to appeal to all, including vegetarian and vegan dishes, plus a children's menu. The kitchen is also happy to accommodate gluten-free requests. The restaurant is wheelchair accessible.
There is a full bar, with two specialty cocktails: the Daniella -- gin, creme de cassis, elderflower liqueur and cava, served in a champagne flute -- and the Gaston: whiskey, naturally squeezed lemon juice and triple sec, served in a tumbler, neat. The former is strong and sweet, while the latter is quite refreshing, once specially requested ice is added. Daniella has imported and domestic beers on tap and in bottles, as well as a limited international wine list.
Photo Daniella and Shlomi Fleishman
The house bread is toasted hallah, served with a mild tomato salsa, olive oil with balsamic vinegar, and butter. The hallah is of the sweet variety, baked on the premises from loaves of dough delivered by a supplier.
One or two of the wait staff speak English, and we were happy to follow our waitress’s knowledgeable recommendations
First was the chopped chicken liver, topped with a mound of fried onions, and accompanied by sliced tomato, pickles and green onion. The rich and creamy liver, served with its own basket of sliced hallah, is as good as you would find in a respectable deli.
Next came the leek fritters, four small pancakes served on a bed of yogurt with tomato salsa. The surprisingly light and airy pancakes managed to deliver a lot of flavor.
As an intermediate course, we chose the pumpkin and sweet potato tortellini, large pasta pockets stuffed full of the orange vegetables, in a sauce of butter and sage, garnished with parsley and cloves of roasted garlic. The portion was generous, and the sauce exquisitely balanced.
Our first main course was the grilled pullet seasoned with Cajun spices, sizable morsels of white meat in a colorful seasoning mix that was moderately zesty (certainly less spicy than what would be expected in America). The accompanying mashed potatoes, our choice of side dish, were excellent: buttery and fluffy. The pullet came with a small side of Cole slaw that is not mentioned on the menu, but was a welcome relish.
My companion was pleased with her salmon, whose exterior was a perfect golden brown. The side of root vegetables consisted of a nice assortment of carrot, celery, and potato.
The desserts include two Italian classics, affogato and tiramisu, as well as a few familiar options commonly served in Israeli restaurants. The tiramisu, served in a small jar, was intense, while the chocolate fudge is a decadently rich flourless cake, served with a very small scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Daniella is an unpretentious restaurant with wholesome food suitable for the whole family and friendly service.
Daniella. Not kosher. Ma’avar Yabok 5, Nahalat Yittzhak, Tel Aviv. Tel. (03) 757-5477.
Photo at Bistro by Silvia Golan
Daniella and Shlomi photo provided by the bistro