by Jono Kalles
Carpaccio Bar – I wish they’d open a place like this in Montreal. It’s pretty small, you’ll sit at the bar or at one of the few tables, so yeah, it’s not formal, but man do I love it. They have lots of different kinds of carpaccio, all creative and delicious. You can also try their seared steak sandwich, which is AMAZING. I think part of the fun is watching them make it, searing it with a flame. For those that don’t eat meat, they even have ceviche and salmon tartar. Also have great lunch specials.
I haven’t found a copy of their menu in English so I’ll make sure to take a picture in January when I’m there. This link should give you an idea of the variety of dishes.
Ibn Gvirol 8, 03-609-8118
For great casual seafood and fish, I highly recommend Goocha, one of the best value/quality restaurants in Tel Aviv, on Dizengoff, corner of Ben Yehuda. When I’m in Israel, I usually check it out at least once, if not more. The atmosphere is fun and the staff are great. When it’s warm out, it can be very pleasant to sit outside and relax (fun to people watch). When it’s colder, or too hot, I recommend sitting at the counter, where you can watch them cook.
Here’s the menu (English at the bottom). My personal favorite dishes include any of the seafood mixes, the red tuna steak, and the ceviche starter. They also have a Mussels special on Sunday evenings.
They have another location in Ramat Hachayal and their location on Ibn Gvirol is now called Goocha Diner. I haven’t been yet, so it’s on my list to check it out next trip.
171 Dizengoff St., (03) 522-2886.
With over 7,000 visitors from 115 countries, the atmosphere was electric (and loud). Representative of Israeli companies explain their projects and products, all on the cutting edge, all designed to better feed the world.
From traditional and hi-tech agriculture to hothouses, irrigation, dairy farming, fish farming and alternative energy — Agritech has it all.
Israeli chef Moshik Roth’s new restaurant in Amsterdam was awarded two Michelin stars for 2013, the Michelin Guide announced on Monday. Roth opened the eccentrically named Samhoud Places, located in the center of the Dutch city, in August.
The restaurant, which features a glass-fronted kitchen and a ground-floor cocktail lounge, cost nearly 2 million euros to get up and running. Roth earned his first Michelin star – and the first for any Israeli chef – for ‘t Brouwerskolkje, in Overveen, the Netherlands, in 2005, three years after it opened. A second star was added in 2009, a ranking ‘t Brouwerskolkje maintained until April of this year, when Roth closed it in order to focus on his new venture.
&samhoud places is slated to be the flagship of a chain of upscale restaurants that Roth and his partner, the Dutch entrepreneur Salem Samhoud, plan to open in New York, Kuala Lumpur, Rio de Janeiro, Moscow and Shanghai.
Roth, 41, grew up in Yavne, south of Tel Aviv. He moved to Holland at the age of 23. He began as the manager of a pizza parlor, and gradually moved into working in the kitchens of fine dining restaurants. Today Roth is considered one of the Netherlands’ top chefs. His new restaurant combines meticulous traditional cuisine and sophisticated, innovative molecular techniques. “It doesn’t feel like I have something new, there’s a feeling of continuity,” he says.
“Michelin visited us and saw that what we are doing here in Amsterdam is at a level no less than my previous place. I was nervous because we’d changed location, with a new name, a few months before the guide was published, and now the pressure is off. Of course it’s not the same restaurant, but it is the same kitchen. The signature is mine. Of course we’d like to reach three stars, and now we know we’re on the right track.”
When will you open a branch in Israel?
“First we’ll put Amsterdam on the map and then we’ll see. If there’ll be a good sponsor maybe we’ll think about a Tel Aviv branch. In Israel I wouldn’t take such a risk alone.”
The winery, Israel’s third largest, opened in 1983 and produced its first vintage the following year. It is located in the town of Katzrin.
Anat Levi, CEO of Golan Heights Winery said “This recognition gives us added motivation to continue our efforts to fully exploit the vast potential of our wonderful winegrowing area. We are excited to be a leading player in the renewal of winegrowing in Israel and to receive this award as a leading new world winery.”
Winemaker Victor Schoenfeld added: “Our proudest achievement is our ongoing effort to work in tune with our natural elements, making high-quality wines that are a true reflection of our unique combination of latitude, high altitude and beautiful volcanic soils. We continue to realize what an amazing region we have, and how much the potential seems limitless.”
According to the winery’s website “The Golan Heights Winery produces premium varietals, proprietary blends and traditional method sparkling wines, marketed under the labels ‘Yarden’, ‘Gamla’ and ‘Golan’”.
On this popular Food Network show, now beginning its third US season, four contestants compete for $10,000 by whipping up what Tel Aviv native Ben-Israel deems the best “genius” dessert incorporating odd ingredients such as pink beans, hot sauce, black radishes, Tofurky, lemongrass, dried mushrooms or even the Passover flatbread matzoh.
Yet despite his rock-candy exterior on the show, the 55-year-old baker reveals his friendly, easygoing inner self in an interview with ISRAEL21c. After all, Israelis are often called “sabras” because, like the sabra cactus fruit, they are known to be prickly on the outside and softly sweet on the inside.
“The show changed my life,” says Ben-Israel, who was discovered by domestic doyenne Martha Stewart in 1996 and opened the award-winning Ron Ben-Israel Cakes in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood in 1999. “It’s a big bracha [blessing] for me,” he adds.
“I never thought of myself as the ‘sweet genius,’” insists the man dubbed “the Manolo Blahnik of cakes” by The New York Times.
“I was interested in the concept of inspiration. I wanted to show people that a pastry chef has to make delicious food that first we ‘eat’ with our eyes. It’s hard to do a main course inspired by Buckingham Palace, but in a cake form it will be ideal.”
The exquisite (and exquisitely expensive) Ron Ben-Israel cakes produced for fancy weddings and parties are seen only by guests at these galas. But his 12-foot-high, eight-foot-wide cake fashioned with the aid of 17 pastry chefs for the glitzy 2007 centennial of New York’s Israeli-owned Plaza Hotel was a public showstopper.
“I would love to do something on this scale again,” he says.
The creations take weeks to perfect, with help from eight fulltime artisans and chefs, plus interns he chooses from pastry departments of culinary schools in New York.
Ben-Israel has no such formal training – at least not in cake design. He was a professional dancer for 15 years before swapping ballet slippers for spatulas.