It was a summer night, and we wanted to have some quality time together-alone. We didn't feel up to cooking our own romantic dinner, plus we didn't want to go anywhere near the city, and so we decided on Armonim – the restaurant we see every time we go on highway 40. As usual, it was a quiet trip, and finding a parking space at the entrance to "Moshav Sgula" was not a problem.
Armonim restaurant is a big site composed of both internal and external seating areas. It is decorated in black, white and cream colors, and right at the entrance, a stone Taboon oven sits in a glass room, facing the restaurant, right next to a wine room. The rest of the space includes a bar and tables set on different levels, which provides a sense of intimacy and privacy. We chose to sit outside the restaurant under the huge sunshades, next to the quiet fans. The distance between the tables is wide enough to make it hard to hear what people at the other tables talk about. This, of course, was a perfect setting for a private conversation. The pleasant music playing in the background added to the nice atmosphere too.
Aiming for the Saturday travelers crowd (and at that available for events of up to 500 guests) Armonim is not a kosher restaurant. We started out with 2 glasses of chilled wine that we chose out of a list featuring local brands only.
We were hungry and the first courses looked very good. A phyllo cigar filled with chopped grouper was served with Teriyaki sauce, an interesting Moroccan innovative cuisine. The beef fillet Carpaccio was seasoned with Atlantic sea salt and 4 seasons pepper, balsamic dressing and garlic. Salmon in Tempura – fresh and nice – was sliced into giant pieces with almond chips, lined up with lemon and cream sauce on a bed of Swiss chard leaves. As for vegetables, we got the Armonim salad: a huge serving of Champignon mushrooms wrapped in green pesto dressing, roasted peppers, sugared chestnuts, green and spinach leaves in citrus vinaigrette and Parmesan cheese. Next to these we got the house bread and butter and black olive tapenade, but we never really got to taste them.
We took a little time-out before our main courses. The nice air and breeze did their own thing, and we ordered the Tornedo-Rossini – the restaurant's signature dish - that was served with special chestnut puree, thick steak cooked to a medium level and foie gras burnt adequately - an absolute delight. Our other order was a Taboon-oven baked drum fish, with plenty of sea-salt. It was eaten so fast, one might think we hadn't eaten a thing all day long.
For dessert we got the homemade Belgian waffle with a chestnut and vanilla ice cream and sliced banana. We also had the chestnut cream tart with a Belgian chocolate topping, cocoa Meringue and some white chocolate, which was amazing. We'll be back for sure.