My husband and I just got back from a spectacular trip to Israel. Although I wish I was a talented […]
My husband and I just got back from a spectacular trip to Israel. Although I wish I was a talented travel writer and could give you many fabulous details of our trip, sadly, I am not. I will summarize it like this: every day was filled with amazing history capped off with an assortment of culinary pleasures. Our experiences covered the gamut: the Carmel market (the photo above was taken there), Golan Winery, the Western Wall and tunnels, Caesarea, Masada, Yad Vashem, Old Jaffa, Herzliya, Safed, Ein Hod artist colony, The Old City, Cardo, Abu Gosh, and Machane Yehuda, to name a few. And a lot of rain. And it didn’t matter. Well, not true. I learned a lesson. Never travel without waterproof shoes again.
I am highlighting two restaurants where we had incredibly memorable dinners. First, we went to North Abraxas on Lilienblum Street #40. I recommend sitting in the bar area because of the open kitchen. The kitchen was about five feet from my seat and it was truly like watching a show. Our second memorable meal was at Shila Kitchen and Bar located at Ben Yehuda Street #182, walking distance from The Hilton. The two restaurants could not be more different:
At North Abraxas, the food is presented simply. A roasted cauliflower is wrapped in brown paper. It sits on brown paper on the table and you cut into it right on the counter. Plates are served for courses that have a sauce or something wet – otherwise no plate. Sweet potatoes – no plate. The bread (divine!)- no plate. All those dishes came with droolworthy dipping sauces. Remember my post about The Parkside at Stinson Beach and I said the bread was the star of the show? Well at this restaurant, the sauces are the star of the show! I love sauces and North Abraxas excels at sauces! They definitely excel at dessert, too. I don’t have a picture to show you as it’s pretty dark in the restaurant, but we had the caramelized bananas. What a way to end an outstanding meal!
At Shila, the food is presented like a beautiful piece of art. My favorites were the Red tuna carpaccio with a campari lemongrass sorbet & pickled seaweed (picture below). The word amazing seems paltry when describing this dish, but it was amazing. And, outstanding. And, delicious. The Sea Fish tartar wrapped in roasted beet, with pistachio oil & mint was so beautiful, I seriously felt like I was unwrapping a precious present. I’m sorry I don’t have a picure of it and the restaurant couldn’t provide one, but trust me when I tell you, it was as scrumptious to eat as it was magnificent to look at. If you happen to be traveling to Israel, be kind to yourself and visit Shila and North Abraxas. Two stellar restauarants that you don’t want to miss!
p.s. It should be noted that the coffee at Landwer Cafe at the Tel Aviv Port is exceptional!
Images courtesy of Shila Restaurant