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Don Vito
Don Vito Shifra Zach
The aesthetics of his tortellini plate is the first tempting thing about it: a circle of thin tortellinis filled with mushrooms and leeks, in a sauce of butter, garlic and sundried tomatoes
In unfamiliar restaurants, I usually take a minute to observe what is around me, so that I will know what to expect. When I entered Don Vito, which resides at the back side of Tel Hashomer military base, I immediately got a sense of a happy trattoria: chandeliers decorated with wine glasses, sounds of diners and Italian cooking fragrances in the air. Everything communicated simplicity and coziness; I could almost see a Mamma Italiana piling up my plate.

Don Vito's menu, accordingly, is not at all pretentious and offers the usual stars of the Italian cuisine, all made on the premises: spaghetti-gnocchi-ravioli in a variety of sauces, focaccias and pizzas, and a nice selection of salads and fish.

We started with the fine house wine – Cabernet Sauvignon from Golan Heights winery, and were ready to start. His first course of eggplant roll was rich but not too heavy, thanks to a nice balance between components. A thin sliced eggplant covered a tasty filling of four cheese and sundried tomatoes, crusted with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, all lying in a sauce of cream and pesto. The waitress said this was one of the most popular dishes in the restaurant, and had no problem convincing us. As for me, I preferred something lighter to start with, and so turned to the salad section. The Portobello salad turned out to be a huge dish, colorful and crispy, with a variety of rocket leaves and fresh lettuce in a lemony dressing, topped by a generous amount of Portobello and champignon mushrooms. The nuts that usually come with this kind of salad were replaced by sundried tomatoes that in turn fortified its taste and color, thus making it a recommended dish for those of you who are on a diet, if there are any.

We then abandon the regular menu for the specials. I chose something from the fish section, and he ordered pasta. Corvina fish is my favorite, and here in Don Vito it is served after having spent a precise amount of time on the grill, on a bed of mashed potatoes, next to delicately blanched fresh asparagus. I only had a bit of a problem following the relevance of the caramel sauce that came with it, and actually thought the dish was fine without it. The aesthetics of his tortellini plate is the first tempting thing about it: a circle of thin tortellinis filled with mushrooms and leeks, in a sauce of butter, garlic and sundried tomatoes. He finished them up so quickly, I got the impression he approved of the taste.

When it came to dessert, it was hard to decide: on the one hand, the tables next to us were served with a very big dish of cream puffs filled with vanilla ice cream and vanilla-chocolate coating and mountains of whipped cream. On the other hand – this is a huge cream-puff-with-ice-cream-chocolate-and-whipped-cream - too much for us at this point. The classic tiramisu, with a balanced sweetness, suited us better. Arivaderchi, Don Vito, we'll be back for sure.

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