In view of the growing trend of vegetarianism, we sometimes feel like an extinct minority. Even in our own home, we are the only meat eaters left, while our offspring have long moved to a meat free menu. Every once in a while we just have to go to a place where people like us are still respected. NG Meat bar in Neve-Tsedek Tel Aviv is one of those places. It is a meat temple focusing on selected cuts that have underwent a long dry aging process.
Before we get to the main purpose of our evening at NG, let me just say something about the NG crunch salad that we start with. This salad has been served here from NG's very first day, 13 years ago. Consisting of silk lettuce and Arabic lettuce hearts, arugula and sliced radishes, and decorated with parmesan cheese and sweet potato fries, it might sound simple. Only the leaves are very fresh, the sweet potato fries are crispy and addictive, and the vinaigrette sauce ties all the ingredients together without leaving too much of a footprint. And I say: a kitchen respecting its raw materials is a good kitchen.
Now, it's time to raise a toast. My partner chooses the Bravdo Merlot which is deep and rich, while I get Assaf winery's 4 Seasons blend that has remarkable tones, especially due to a Pinotage grape presence. With our wine, we get a home-smoked meat starter, which is simply referred to as Delicatessen: a good illustration of NG's meat processing capabilities. The smoked and sliced entrecote is served with a small arugula salad and radishes, and a saucer of home-made mustard. To this we add the perfect home-made bread which is served with baked garlic and olives. A wonderful combination of hot and sour flavors emphasizing the taste of the meat.
And now (drum roll), our mains are served. As mentioned, NG mainly specializes in dry aged meat cuts wrapped in fat, which sharpens the meat flavors, and then roasted to perfection. We get 2 amazing cuts: a 400 gram sirloin that was dry aged for 28 days, and a 350 gram prime entrecote that was dry aged for 35 days, bone-less. The 2 cuts, medium roasted at our request, are thick, juicy, brown on the outside and red on the inside, with just a minimal salt and pepper spicing, and taste like true meat – the dream of any carnivore. They are served with mashed potatoes, "bone fire" potatoes and sweet potatoes and a delicate green stew of spinach and wide beans, to which we add the aforementioned mustard. What can we say? We have not had this kind of meat in a long-long time.
But we do have to say something about NG's service. This restaurant's waitresses are amazingly tolerant to diners' decision making difficulties, as they assist and recommend selected entries and the desired level of roasting. Still, they remain cooperative with "Well-done" requests.
All that is left is to finish with something sweet: 2 red and white desserts. Panna cotta for him with fresh strawberries and strawberry confiture, and vanilla tart for me which is made with crispy dough, amarena cherries and vanilla ice cream on the side. Both are light, sweet and sour, the perfect ending of a very fine meal.