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Café Albert
Café Albert Shifra Zach
Brasserie does illustrate its character a little better: an open space, European design, a French oriented menu with some Mediterranean and Asian touches; fresh ingredients, hard work, no shortcuts
What makes a restaurant meal so good that you keep thinking about it for many days after you have had it? Sometimes it is a dish that you discovered, sometimes it is the composition of the entire meal, and sometimes, as is the case with Café Albert – it is both. But before discussing the food, I have to say something about Café Albert. The "Café" definition does not even begin to describe everything this place has to offer, and indeed, in the last few months, the title "brasserie" was added. Brasserie does illustrate its character a little better: an open space, European design, a French oriented menu with some Mediterranean and Asian touches; fresh ingredients, hard work, no shortcuts. Café Albert was designed by Rutti and Matti Brodo, who have contributed to the Israeli culinary world several distinguished establishments such as the Coffee Bar, the Brasserie, Hotel Montefiore and others. Still, with consideration to Café Albert's location at the Ramat Aviv Mall, its menu includes every conceivable option – a light snack of salad or sandwich, pasta selection, fish, meat and changing specials.

Café Albert's extensive menu makes it hard to choose, and we are led to a decision that turns out to be excellent: we decide to have a meal that consists mostly of starters and first courses, so that we can sample as much as we can. First comes the flag dish – liver pate, which tastes so great due to a scraped apple that is involved in it, and it is served with a whole pear cooked in white wine and spices to give it a yellowish hue and intoxicating taste. Two salads follow. One is the "petit Greek" which combines red and yellow cherry tomatoes, some fresh and others roasted, topped by a generous amount of Greek salty cheese and fresh leaves. The other salad, which we consider one of the highlights of our meal, is called Stilton: endive leaves, inside which hot stilton cheese cubes and tiny slices of pears in wine and caramelized pistachios. An intriguing combination of spiciness, sweetness and bitterness.

The pasta part is proudly represented by two rich dishes: one is goat cheese ravioli – large round raviolis, with a generous filing of goat cheese, all dip inside a brownish sauce of tomato butter which is fortified by sundried tomatoes. The other dish, which we choose from today's specials, is a dish of fatty gnocchi in aromatic mushroom sauce and parmesan on top.

After all these tastes, we settle for one main course for the two of us: mullet fillet, crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, on a bed of risotto lime and asparagus. The risotto is surprisingly light, in comparison to the Italian creamy version of it. Its lemony taste goes well with the fish and the fresh asparagus.

Although we usually don't, this time we settle for one dessert: apple strudel, made of thin crispy dough embracing a sweet-sour caramelized filling, served with a white heap of crème fraiche. And a perfect latte on the side. It is a coffee place, right?

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