“The waiter tried to help us with teaspoon samples: French Vanilla? Lovely. Date? Amazing, really authentic date flavour. Also true of the raspberry yogurt ice cream. And the pineapple sorbet. And the coconut sorbet. And the chocolate. And the pistachio. And the…need I go on?” A little too late, Shifra Tzach realizes that she aught to have started with dessert at Quattro, a patisserie and Italian ice cream bar in Tel Aviv.
To tell you the truth, we should have gone for ice cream in the first place. True, the salad was good and the pizza and lasagna were satisfying, but the primary reason to come to Quattro in Neve Tzedek is first and foremost, their ice cream. It’s just that Anat and I thought we needed fuel our regular girl talk with a few ‘proper’ dishes before dessert. We went back and forth about what to order with our sweet waiter (“I recommend it all!”) and in the end decided by process of elimination: We didn’t feel like sandwiches and the quiche selection that night included sweet potato, cauliflower or onion, taking the quiches out of our picky running’s.
We were left with the house salad for both of us (“It’s really big” warned the waiter, and he was right), stone-oven baked pizza margarita for Anat and four-cheese lasagna for me, or vice versa, depending on who likes what best. Suspicious of this idea that the salad could be a meal unto itself, we chose to order it as a side to the hot dishes. But when it arrived, together with a hunk of hot fresh bread, we realized that we hadn’t given it the respect it deserved. We are talking about a salad that needs to be ordered as a main dish so that you can thoroughly enjoy all its ingredients: lettuce, arugula, sweet potato, zucchini and roasted peppers and a ton of walnuts. Together with the herb served on the side, this is a summery and very tasty dish. The lasagna and the pizza, which arrived bubbling hot, were forced to wait a bit till we freed ourselves up for them.
In the end we found a way to take a bite of the pizza, to put a piece on the lasagna on the fork, and then return to the show stealing salad. And that’s how we took our time, talking about everything we had on our minds, and all while we sat comfortably in our chairs overlooking the street and a group of tourists strolling by checking out the restored buildings that were the first in Tel Aviv.
But all this was just a preface. This is a place known for its cakes and sweets, made by Pastry Chef Lior Adari, and for their homemade ice cream. This ice cream is cream based – the type known as ‘hard Italian’, and therefore, trying to choose just one flavour is truly a challenge. The waiter tried to help us with teaspoon samples: French Vanilla? Lovely. Date? Amazing, really authentic date flavour. As is the raspberry yogurt ice cream. And the pineapple sorbet. And the coconut sorbet. And the chocolate. And the pistachio. And the…should I go on? In the meantime we also tasted small samples of the freshly baked loaf cakes – banana, orange, and mango, we are honoured with three types of chocolate cookies that had just come out of the oven and melted on our tongues, and were also offered a peek into the dessert fridge where temptations like white chocolate mousse, almond pistachio mousse and coconut and passion fruit mousse await.
After all this we finally decide to go for the ice cream, and chose a serving sized apple pie with a scoop of vanilla and a scoop of date alongside it, which we announced was our favourite. Turns out that at Quattro, dessert is considered a main dish.
Quattro6 Lillenblum St., Tel AvivTel: 03-5105434