Tel Aviv had a reputation of being a hedonistic, secular city, where Glatt Kosher meals could be only found in some specific hotels. The hechsher (kosher certification) by Israel’s Chief Rabbinate often came with paltry meals, since the hotel wasn’t there to create culinary delights but simply to feed their religious guests. I figure the hoteliers thought they are the only game in town, they have to pay for a mashgiach and it didn’t make good economic sense to hire amazing chefs. Unless you wanted to travel to Jerusalem for a wonderful meal, you were on your own. Well, things have changed greatly in the white city. I just returned from there and was stunned by the blossoming of classy, delicious kosher restaurants. I have listed a few of my favorites below.
The Blue Sky by Meir Adoni On top of the Carlton hotel, overlooking the beach, brilliant and creative young chef Meir Adoni created a masterpiece of a menu, served exquisitely with an ambiance and atmosphere to please the most demanding. Personally, I melted. They serve bruch, lunch and dinner.
Lumina at the Carlton
Located in the Carlton Tel Aviv, Lumina is a modern Israeli bistro style restaurant divided into three superb world class eateries. Gorgeous and delicious food.
The Jewish Kitchen
This restaurant is Meir Adonis’s interpretation on traditional Jewish dishes. Comfort food at its best, yummy, satisfying and beautifully served.
This restaurant highlights dishes from the Adonis original super success restaurant as the name implies – Mizlala is where you gobble down the food because it’s so irresistible)
Brasserie – Classic Brasserie dishes.
Regina In the old section of Tel Aviv, there is this incredible 19th century building, stunningly tucked into the station between Neve Tzedek and Jaffa. It has a lovely courtyard and a menu that makes my mouth water 6 weeks later. Thick salmon slices, in house smoked to perfection with avocado and capers. Sunny side up eggs served over kitchiri (rice with orange lentils and garlic) and homemade pickles. They offer insanely satisfying home cooking with top chef gourmet touches. The chicken steaming in dried dates, Jerusalem artichoke and red wine is beyond amazing.
The Mediterranean flavors in the offerings of this dairy restaurant put together by renowned Chef Haim Cohen are the best that Israeli cuisine has to offer. Spices, scents, hues and sounds all combine into a superb gastronomic experience. Israel, being a melting pot, not unlike the USA, has absorbed world cuisine, reinterpreted them and made them its own. Perfectly prepared fish and stunning desserts with an artsy presentation, wonderful red wine, all match the place’s modern chic decor.
This is a restaurant is aptly considered one of the leading culinary institutions in Israel. You may have noticed that I said in Israel, not only in Tel Aviv, but at large. It’s off the beaten path by the courthouse in the Cultural center of Tel Aviv and the offerings are a divinely plated array of the freshest fish, rotating by whatever was caught, seasonable veggies and top cuts of meat. If creative cooking is your hearts’ desire then feel free to choose a medium cut of goose braised in cinnamon over a swirl of apple sauce and served atop sauteed mango leaves and planks of potatoes. Magic!
For the kosher meat lover, the gourmet cooks who often felt frustrated and deprived of the delicacy of a prime non-kosher fillet, this is your place. Although Goshen observes the strict preparation process, they managed to preserve the integrity and smooth richness of its meat. Tender steaks and lamb veal as big as you can manage. Entrees are simply accompanied by either white or spicy brown rice. A simple, elegant setting for your feast and a choice of chocolate or nougat souffle for dessert.
Bistro Lily 24
This restaurant is Glatt Kosher mehadrin in the heart of Tel Aviv, part Israeli Mediterranean and great for business meetings. At night it becomes transformed into a magical French Bistro taken straight from the heart of Paris complete with romantic, magical ambience to fall in love in.
I left out the great kosher pizza and pasta restaurants and some other eclectic but great kosher places. If you’d like, contact me and I’ll get you the names and addresses.