Israeli Grill / Maya Bar
“For the entrees, we shared an entrecote steak and some kebab. At Agenda, they age the beef in a special room in the restaurant, and the result is choice meat, requiring only a minimum of seasoning … We also sampled some foie gras, which aside from some guilt, pleased us quite a bit…” Maya Bar discovered genuine Israeli grill at Agenda restaurant.
Two women go off to eat. They hardly had a bite throughout their hectic day. All they want to do is to sit and eat without anyone stopping them. The two are hungry and want to sink their teeth into some meat. Oh, and I almost forgot that the two desire to converse in a pleasant atmosphere, to easily find parking, for the service to be gracious and all-smiles, for the price to be reasonable, for the ladies-room to be decorated in style, and if possible, for there to be a place to take a pleasant walk at meal’s end, in the fresh air, the best remedy for a big meal.
Agenda Israeli Grill, located at the port of Tel Aviv, sounded like the place to suit all our needs.
When we got to the restaurant, we discovered it had two seating areas, each one with its own character. The exterior looks like a simple eatery, with large sunshade umbrellas facing the open area. Contrast that with the interior which is something quite different. Filled with heavy wooden furniture and classy lighting, the space offers the patron a choice between intimate dining in a secluded corner and sitting in the center space or on the bar, in a more social atmosphere. Above the bar hangs a large TV screen, constantly showing soccer games and the like. Next to it stands the DJ who plays different music each night.
We opened with a glass of red wine, Shiraz Dalton, which our palate found quite agreeable and which put us in a festive mood. The polite waiter strongly recommended an assortment of salads (appetizers) and within two minutes our table was covered with a delightful spread of salads in diamond-shaped plates. The salads ranged from updated versions of the variety found in common Israeli meat houses to real special finds (such as the tabouleh, the five types of eggplant salads, and especially the fried eggplant which was covered in bread crumbs and was delightfully crispy and tasty). Our forks went from plate to plate, as we enjoyed the variety and the freshness. The hot lafa (Arabic flat bread), fresh from the oven, was served to us with thick hummus, just the way we like it.
For the entrees, we shared an entrecote steak and some kebab. At Agenda, they age the beef in a special room in the restaurant, and the result is choice meat, requiring only a minimum of seasoning of salt and pepper (in the case of the steak) and the addition of parsley and pine-nuts (in the case of the kebab). We also sampled some foie gras, which aside from some guilt, pleased us quite a bit with its sweetened flavor and softened texture. Also on the table were pullets, roasted to perfection, and retaining their juiciness. Accompanying the meat were potato puree with fried onions and home-made mujaddara. However, since we found it hard to part ways with the salads, we settled for only a few bites of these side dishes.
For dessert we chose apple pie with berries and vanilla ice-cream. This dish, which combined the warm with the cool and the sweet with the sour, made for a pleasant finish to the meal and left a sweet taste in the mouth.
Agenda’s agenda, as it is stated on the card on the table, is to provide quality meats and home-made salads. The visit could be summed up by saying that the kitchen met its mission statement. Add to that the d?cor of the restaurant, the service, the music, and the price, and you have a grill-bar which provides a palatable and pleasurable dining experience.
In the end, we did without the pleasant post-meal stroll. Who can walk after all that food?
3 HaTa’arucha, Tel Aviv Port