My friend Nimar lives in the Galilee. When he comes to Tel Aviv his preferred form of fun is to curse the fact that parking in Tel Aviv is impossible. He's right of course, if you ignore the fact that he's got to spend 2 hours in the car in order to reach his private Galilee parking spot.
Other than cursing parking, Nimar also likes to eat and the best way to shut his mouth is, of course, to stick some food in it. Preferably good food. It's not that up in the Galilee Nimar is nourished by goat droppings, twigs and dried nettles. There's also great food in the Galilee, especially when Nimar does the cooking.
But in honor of his birthday, Nimar agreed to come to Tel Aviv – what a man won't do for steak. We decided to go to L'entrecote, a French style steakhouse not only attractively located at the corner of Ahad Ha'am and Nachalat Binyamin, but also in a historical building.
After putting the topic of parking behind us, we checked out the building. This building once housed the Palatine Hotel, the best known hotel in Tel Aviv in the 1920's, designed by architect Franz Adolf Berwald, who also designed the Technion in Haifa.
Sitting in the restaurant's renovated dining room, the building's historic exterior isn't felt. The space is large and open with wood floors, tables and chairs, soft lighting and a lovely and inviting atmosphere.
Because we arrived hungry we were happy to get things going by nibbling on house rolls which arrived hot out of the oven, festively covered in sesame seeds. We enjoyed the rolls with the tapenade they came with – the perfect choice for a spread in a kosher restaurant. For our starters, we ordered a selection of dishes – artichoke in lemon and herbs, mini kebabs in tehina, seared tuna with pear jam and duck liver pate with onion jam. At L'entrecote, if you hadn't already noticed, they go for the favourites. Classic, well known (and loved) dishes that perfectly pair ingredients: kebabs – tehina; artichoke – lemon and olive oil, liver pate – onion jam.
For our mains we chose emissaries of both land and sea. The Admiral of navy was oven baked sea bream filet with red pepper puree and sautéed green beans. The ground forces General was (of course, because the restaurant is named after this particular cut) a 300 gram entrecote steak, that was cooked medium rare, just as we'd requested. Alongside the steak were crispy and well browned thinly cut chips and a fresh green salad. We also enjoyed the Hermon red by Yarden, the perfect accompaniment to any celebration.
After they easily and admirably cleared every kosher cooking hurdle, L'entrecote also succeeded in making it over the final and highest one – the dairy-free dessert hurdle. Refreshing lemon and mango sorbet, and a kosher version of crème brulee satisfied the sweet tooth without making us pine for cream and butter. And when our cardiologist is pleased, we're all pleased!
28 Ahad Ha'am, corner of Nachalat Binyamin, Tel Aviv