Situated in the heart Jerusalem, adjacent to the luxurious Alrov Mamilla shopping promenade, the Mamilla boutique hotel is definitely one of a kind. The hotel was designed by Canadian-Israeli Architect Moshe Safdie and the Italian interior designer Piero Lissoni. As soon as one walks through the glass doors, it is evident the nothing was left to chance. From the fireplace, through the various colorful seating options, interesting art work adorning the walls and even the ambient music played in the lobby, the Mamilla team is setting high standards all around.
I, however, am clearly not a designer nor an expert on contemporary art, I quickly walked towards the elevator and headed up to the roof; that is the Rooftop. The Rooftop is a relaxed, informal kosher brasserie, with breathtaking views that stretch across Jerusalem's majestic old and newer parts of the city. The Tower of David, Jaffa Gate and the impressive city walls to our left, the monumental King David Hotel to our right and a birds eye view of the Mamilla promenade, I needed a couple of minutes to take all of this in.
After settling down and being seated, my companion and I each ordered a chilled glass of cava and began reviewing the menu. Chef Roei Antebi is in charge of Mamilla's culinary offerings and the Roof Top's varied menu includes: fish and pasta dishes, soup, salads; cured, grilled and slow cooked meat dishes and even an excellent parve (non-dairy) dessert menu created by pastry chef Shlomi Fadida.
Soup seemed like a great way to get things started on this chilly mid-June Jerusalem evening. Two bowls of Roof Top's soup de jour were brought to the table - thick lemony lentil soup served with a mini eggplant and tahini calzone-like (sambusak) pastry. The soup was nice, and just needed a dash of salt and pepper, but the pasty was the star of this dish. We continued with an assortment of starters - it was at this stage that Antebi's talent started to shine.
The "sea bream nicoise ceviche" was very unique, consisting of delicate slices of fresh fish, shallots, fresh green beans and a hard boiled quail egg all topped with extra virgin olive oil. The second starter reminded me of an excellent de-constructed deli sandwich (minus the rye bread) – rough cuts of perfectly cooked roast beef, cocktail pickles and the best tartar sauce I've had in a while came together and brought back memories from North America.
Another sip of Barkan's Merlot Reserve and it was time to move on to our main course. This was truly a carnivore's dream come true; an impressive hunk of prime beef rib weighing in at 950 grams (2 lbs.) was grilled to perfection, with uniform grill marks all around and nice and juicy within. I even noticed that the couple sitting at the adjacent table was staring over at the dish; and if I'm not mistaken they seemed a bit jealous.
Petit fours and double espressos for dessert, one last look at the beautiful view and it was time to call it a night. If you want to sit back and have a romantic dinner or simply enjoy a good glass of wine while looking at the best view in town, the Roof Top is definitely the place for you.
Rooftop Outdoor Lounge and Restaurant
11 King Solomon St., Jerusalem