- Written by Buzzy Gordon
Inspired by the city’s vibrant culinary scene, a duo of Russian investors who own restaurants in Russia and Europe have now established a presence in the heart of Tel Aviv.
Following a long search, the team identified a 3.5-storey bauhaus building on Dizengoff Street as their ideal location and spent months transforming it into a restaurant with a spacious al fresco area and two floors of tables, with a third underway.
The concept of the new restaurant is a cosmopolitan bistro where conversation is meant to flow, fueled by drinks and good food. Hence the name Table Talk, which derives from the literary genre that evolved from stimulating discourse.
The cuisine at Table Talk is fusion, while the menu is cosmopolitan with a solid Eastern European foundation. Among the specialties are calves’ liver pâté, chopped herring, fresh salads with sunflower oil dressing, and the pièce de résistance -- blini with crême fraîche, red caviar, and salmon cured in-house.
There is a well-stocked bar, of course, with premium vodkas taking pride of place.
The Russian theme carries over into dessert as well, with delicious cherry vareniki topped with crême fraîche.
The restaurant is open all day, with enticing breakfast and brunch entrées on offer. There is even a children's menu.
Table Talk is already becoming an active venue for cultural events, including exhibitions, literary evenings, film screenings and lectures. Musical performances are scheduled to take place every Thursday, with occasional artist meet and greets.
In addition, Table Talk is an attractive venue for private events and functions.
- Written by Silvia
Socca Market in Tel Aviv has brought a new concept in dining to its unique venue for weddings, parties and major events. Instead of the standard fixed menu and waiter service, guests are invited to make the rounds of food stalls, each one featuring cuisine from different corners of the globe.
Drawing its inspiration from London’s Borough Market, New York’s Chelsea Market and Barcelona’s La Boqueria -- and more recently, Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market and Shuk Tzafon -- Socca Market comprises stalls that serve food representing the following cuisines:
Israeli (Mediterranean) - hummus, tehina, lamb kabab, skewers of shishlik and sabih
Italian - pastas, focaccias, antipasti (grilled vegetables) and bruschettas
Greek - souvlaki, dolmades (stuffed grape leaves) Greek salad, gyros, fried red mullet
Asian - dim sum dumplings, stir-fried noodles, bao sandwiches, Asian cabbage salad
American - fresh grilled hamburgers from prime beef, coleslaw, French fries
A delicious spread of desserts is served, featuring brownies with hot fudge sauce, chocolate chip cookies, hot apple crumble with pareve vanilla ice cream, meringues with berry sauce, lemon meringue tarts, and assorted pastries.
There is a full bar serving cocktails, sangria, and soft drinks, and a separate bar for wines.
Socca Market, which is certified kosher, is located in a trendy district of lofts and studios in south Tel Aviv.
Address: 27 Shocken Sreet (entrance from Shvil Hameretz)
Tel. (073) 248-0313
- Written by Buzzy Gordon
Italian embassies around the world this week are marking “The First Week of Italian Cuisine in the World," an initiative of that country’s Ministry of Economic Development to promote Italy’s famous cuisine, which represents an industry estimated to be worth USD 60 billion annually; in Israel, The First Week of Italian Cuisine in the World was launched by Ambassador Francesco M. Talò at a reception held at his residence in Ramat Gan on November 21.
In his remarks to the assembled guests, Ambassador Talò introduced the slogan of The First Week of Italian Cuisine in the World -- “the extraordinary Italian taste” -- and inaugurated an app designed especially for the Israeli market: the kosher Italian eating guide (www.kosheritalianguide.it).
Also addressing the reception was a special guest from Italy, Elena Toselli of the Ministry of Economic Development, who explained that the new app featured a database of 500 purveyors of Italian foodstuffs that are certified kosher.
Guests received a pamphlet outlining special events -- lectures, demonstrations, cooking classes, movies and tasting -- revolving around Italian cuisine taking place in Israel the week of November 21-29. The evening concluded with a three-course banquet of Italian delicacies -- antipasti, pastas and desserts -- prepared by visiting Chef Laura Ravaioli, in collaboration with local chefs Massimiliano Di Matteo, a winner of the Master Chef television competition, and Michele Bozzetto, of the Sheraton Hotel’s Olive Leaf restaurant.
The reception attendees largely comprised Israeli residents of Italian descent, including Cinzia Klein, the local representative of the Italian Academy of Cuisine.
Photos provided by Massimiliano Guido , Italian Embassy
Photo 3 Chef Massimiliano Di Matteo and Chef Laura Ravaioli
- Written by Buzzy Gordon
Regina, the veteran kosher restaurant in the Hatachana compound, has launched a new winter menu and a lavish “all you can eat” buffet, served Fridays from 11.00 until 14.00 (or one hour before the commencement of the Sabbath).
The buffet reflects the philosophy of the restaurant, which is to serve traditional Jewish food representing the cuisines of all the ethnic communities of the Diaspora: Ashkenazic, Sephardic, North African and Middle Eastern. As such, it is a smorgasbord of dishes that could justifiably be classified as Jewish comfort food, featuring stews and casseroles that are hearty, filling and warming -- ideal fare for the winter.
The categories of food on display at the buffet include appetizers, salads, soups, main courses and desserts. The main courses comprise meat, fish chicken and even vegan options.
Among the appetizers and mezze are a creamy ikra, an intense chopped liver, puffed pastry stuffed with ground meat, homemade tehina, and baked eggplant with tehina, date honey and pomegranate seeds. These are complemented nicely with thick slices of fresh hallah.
The piping hot soups are chicken and vegetable with kreplakh (meat-filled dumplings), and puréed lentil soup.
Main courses include a traditional cholent (hamin) with kishka (stuffed derma), moussaka, osh pilaf with chicken and beef, shakshuka with eggplant, fish patties in a savory tomato sauce, sofrito with meatballs, and Hungarian goulash.
Desserts are Regina’s cakes, apple strudel, dates and halva. The restaurant has its own creative specialty cocktails and an adequate wine list, along with the usual soft drinks.
The cost of the buffet is a reasonable NIS 84 for adults, and NIS 50 for children. The regular menu -- including kids’ menu -- is also available, as well as breakfast, served Fridays from 10,00 until 13.00.
Neve Tzedek – the Tachana complex (building 10), Tel Aviv
Photo1 Regina;s owners Tzippy Varnel Elizabeth Levy & Nir Shafrir with Silvia Golan
Photo 3 Chef
- Written by Buzzy Gordon
The Cafe Rothschild chain has opened in newest restaurant in the suburb of Givatayim, a block away from the municipal border with Tel Aviv. The kosher chain, which serves dairy but no meat dishes, has been expanding rapidly into the center of the country from its base in the North.
Cafe Rothschild, whose slogan is b’n’divut -- meaning, “generously” -- is known for its freebies, large portions and value. Guests are greeted with a complimentary drink on arrival, and free popcorn is distributed in the evenings. Instead of the conventional happy hour, beer (part of an alcohol menu that includes spirits and wine) is always two-for-one.
The categories of the bilingual menu comprise breakfast, salads, pastas, appetizers, sandwiches, tortillas, pizzas, focaccias and fish dishes. In addition to the usual hot and cold beverages, there are fresh-squeezed juices, smoothies and shakes. Vegan and gluten-free options are also available.
Desserts appear on a Hebrew-only menu, but can be explained in English by the staff. The super-sized sweets are prepared by pastry chefs off-site.
Among the special offerings of Cafe Rothschild are Italian Tuesdays -- when pasta is NIS 29 and glasses of wine NIS 10 -- and Greek Fridays, featuring mezze.
Photos Silvia Golan