I love people who think long term. Whoever thought about opening El Gaucho Netanya on the ground floor of the Carmel Hotel overlooking the sea is a long-term thinker. Whoever could predict that at one o’clock in the morning, after a long meal of delight after delight with even more delightful company, the last thing I’d want to do is drive home in the cold night is someone with seriously long-term thinking. Whoever thought about situating the dinner table just 2 floors from a large soft bed with lovely white sheets – now that is really a person with long term thinking. (That the kids were waiting at home around the corner that particular morning and there was no way they wouldn’t notice we’d disappeared – well that’s not really in the long-term thinker’s hands –there’s a limit to how much one person can think of.)
Three hours earlier, ‘X’ and I entered the restaurant. The atmosphere was inviting, the room was spacious and the all glass western wall of the restaurant revealed the sea (black a the moment) unfurling before us.
Two lovely cocktails were placed before us, making our menu perusal all the nicer. We decided to start with the long juicy chorizos, the excellent meat filled empanadas as well as the sizzling pan of fresh mushrooms sautéed in garlic and olive oil.
Rona, our waitress, took great care of us and impressed us with her professionalism. While telling us that she has worked at the restaurant 8 years (since the age of 17!), she served us hot fresh bread with chimichurri and ultra smoky and flavourful eggplant salad.
Then our mains arrived. A 200-gram filet steak, which won my praise, and a very good 500-gram cut of entrecote. Along with the steak we requested the chip duet (potatoes and sweet potatoes in garlic and parsley) and vegetable skewers, which were excellent, consisting of roasted halved tomatoes, onions and red peppers.
We took our time. With meat, like with most of the good things in life, there’s no need to rush. The personal grill, which had been set on our table, kept everything hot and sizzling. A few hundred grams later (most of which I ate, I’ll admit) X said that it’s a sort of medical miracle that he can still breathe and maybe we should call a tabloid to inform them. I said that maybe we should wait until after dessert and see if he’s still breathing then.
Good caramel flan and coconut, passion fruit and strawberry sorbet almost took us over the edge. So, instead of heading out to the cold wind coming in from the sea, we chose to push the number two on the elevator heading upstairs. Next time we’ll also stay for breakfast.
Carmel Hotel, 1 Ben Gurion St. Netanya