People like me, who want to go out to eat and enjoy their spare time, often dream of escaping to a restaurant which is worth the effort. This imaginary restaurant is a neighborly place, tucked away on a side street. The prices aren’t excessively high, the food is tasty and it has a friendly atmosphere. I think that I found it. The place is Boccaccio.
It is not as if I haven't been to an Italian restaurant before, but what was so unique about Boccaccio?
As soon as you enter the restaurant you sense a warm and comfortable feeling. The room is big enough not to feel crowded, but not so big that you have to shout to be heard. The place hasn't followed the d?cor of many trendy restaurants; instead, its magic is in its simplicity which gives a romantic setting. This is a modest restaurant whose main focus is on the food; unlike some of Tel- Aviv's high-minded, ingredient-conscious foodie palaces.
The food is diverse, and prepared in a way that highlights the ingredients instead of the vaunted skills of an egotistical chef, but still has a special style and texture. It’s a restaurant, in other words, where one would be happy to dine on an off night, and almost feel at home (or in Italy…), because the menu here is presented casually, within the context of a familiar culinary tradition, relatively cheap, and has straightforward, food.
After sitting down you start to notice the things around you, and the evening starts to get more interesting. In the background we heard nice Italian music which added to the romantic feeling. The walls were covered with paintings of nude women by the artist Avinoam Kosowsky, There are also a few statues of nudes which Nizza Ben Shalom, the owner of the restaurant, created herself- So what goes better than the combination of erotic art and great food? And if you'd like, you can take it home because all the art work displayed in the restaurant is for sale..
My date and I decided to try new dishes, so we ordered different ones and shared them. We had more to taste, and that was an exciting experience. People might ask, how pasta can be so surprising, Boccaccio knows how to bring new flavors to the table without losing the great taste of the Italian kitchen.
For our first course we had a wide selection to choose from. We ordered chicken-liver pate` with a sweet 'Silan' (dates) and nut spread, which had fabulous taste.
Our second choice was, 'Malazanna'- eggplant with fresh tomatoes and grilled mozzarella, and bread. The bread was the highlight. We order a focaccio, which came straight from the oven, fresh and warm, with pesto sauce, and an onion and garlic topping. With that we received grainy black bread with nuts and tiny rolls, served with butter and dried tomato spread.
The only reason I didn't finish everything, is that I wanted to save room for the main course… which didn't disappoint me.
For main course we ordered 'Carnbonera', Fettuccini with bacon and Squab egg. This combination of meat and egg was tasty and different. In addition, we had 'Roquefort cheese Ravioli' with nuts and cream sauce, which wasn't less interesting…
The food was filling and precisely what we wished for, but we couldn't finish this great evening without having the sweet dessert.
The friendly waiter recommended two great ones: The first - hot peach pie with almonds and banana, which had a sweet and sour flavor, and had a scoop of vanilla ice-cream on top. And the second - Almond Caramel Parafe' with raspberry jam and whipped cream- A great finale to a wonderful evening…
It is worth mentioning that this is an excellent restaurant for tourists since it is located on the corner of the Frishman and Hyarkon Streets, near the hotels and close to the beach. And for those of you, who come with a car and do not want to spend hours searching for a parking place, go right on this corner and immediately left to the parking lot which is free for restaurant guests. Just have the restaurant validate the par