A short vacation in Eilat with the kids, one minute after winter is over, one moment before the Passover rush starts. We enjoy the sun and the spacious sensation that can only be felt in a touristic city in the off-season. Our one problem is that we don't really know anything about Eilat, and when we start getting hungry, the last thing we want is to walk inside a tourist trap that would ruin our wonderful mood. Our foodie friends who live in the Arava area Kibutz recommend Pedro.
It turns out that Pedro is a gourmet restaurant that resides far away from the tourist areas, in one of the city's oldest neighborhoods, which means no-one just stumbles in here by accident.
Pedro has been here for a while, 17 years, but it has recently been renovated. The restaurant's kitchen is now run by the former Sebastian restaurant chef (respect), and it now focuses on wine. It turns out there is even local wine produce in Eilat – the Red Sea Winery. Although we have not tasted it yet, we hear it is highly regarded, and was already rewarded with prizes.
Pedro's design is warm and inviting; age and tradition are reflected in wood beams that define the rich wine collection. Outside there is a small yard, which we cannot go out to. Believe it or not, it is not yet warm enough. The menu reveals a fine European-Mediterranean, unapologetic cuisine: seafood, high quality meat (Golan Heights), cream sauce and even goose liver. On the other hand, it is abundant with health products such as olive oil, artichoke and balsamic vinegar.
We start with some representatives of the sea: coquille st Jacques, which we have crowned as our seafood favorite a long time age. Seafood usually reminds me of the Protestant work ethos: if you work hard, clean your calamari, crack your crab legs, you will be rewarded with a small pleasure: a taste of heaven in small dosage. The coquille st Jacques is the exceptional. This oyster caves in easily, and not only does it provide a heavenly pleasure, it usually contains a significant amount of flesh, larger than the size of mussels, for instance. In Pedro it is treated with respect, as it is attached to a beautiful dish of artichoke hearts, burnt tomatoes, mushrooms, basil, and a wrapping of velvety cream and garlic sauce.
Pedro's ceviche is unorthodox: salmon is not the common choice for this dish. But it is delicately done, with avocado, sprouts and reduced balsamic vinegar that give it a wonderful twist. We have our first courses with red Assemblage wine. We love these Barkan local blends, and in Pedro they are offered at nearly cost price.
For our main course, we have both fish and meat. The fish – sea bream fillet – is served on a lemony cream puree, crispy outside, juicy inside. This light, classic dish makes us gargle. Our meat order is composed of fresh Golan Heights meat fillet portions in cream and pesto sauce, artichoke, garlic and cherry tomatoes. It certainly illustrates the chef's creativity.
We finish with wonderful crème Catalan with scents of orange and chocolate soufflé. On the cab back to the hotel we think about maybe keeping this pearl a secret, but then decide to share it with you. Enjoy it!