Friday Night Bites

“I indulged myself with a 300 gram entrecote steak, in a rich creamy pepper sauce, along with an excellent gnocchi. The steak was juicy and the gnocchi was soft, melting in the mouth…” Instead of going to the parents for Friday night dinner, Daniel Rom dined a little differently at Caf? Metzada (Masada) on the Tel Aviv promenade.

Last weekend was especially sunny and hot. I had been through a crazy week of work, and both my Polish girlfriend and I had come down with an inexplicable cold. I decided to go out and celebrate the shining sun. So, after a quick and apologetic call to her parents, and an acknowledgement that there is nothing like Friday night home-cooking, and we were off, on the way to the promenade and the sight of the people enjoying the season. The sight of a beach always clears my head. There is something soothing in the endless water, the soft sand, the kids running happily by the sea for the first time, and in the glistening light on the water before the sunset. The salty breeze rises from the sea, filled our lungs, and got our appetites going.

The time was already 7pm on a Friday night. Caf? Metzada (Masada) was familiar to us already – we like sitting here, by the glass wall, across from the sea, watching the red sunset and eating a Belgian waffle. This time, we decided to go for more than just something sweet and have a proper Friday night dinner.

Don’t let the name fool you. The rich menu and chef specials crown Caf? Metzada a refined princess. During the day, you ca enjoy breathtaking views and light atmosphere. In the evenings, candles and wine bottles are places on the table and the place takes on a romantic glow. We sat across the glass wall, in a secluded corner. We toasted with 2 glasses of wine: a light Gamla Chardonnay and a red Colombia Crest. The wine put me in the right mood. My companion, however, waited for the food to arrive before taking a sip. Refreshing frozen lemonade with spearmint kept her occupied in the mean time.

We started off with cheese and roasted-vegetable antipasti, as well as liver pate in onion confiture and toast on the side. We were both famished and attacked our surprisingly generously-portioned food without hesitation. The assortment of roasted, lightly-browned vegetables is placed on a giant platter, aside a mix of hard cheeses and cashew. The dish is served with pesto dip and butter, as well as white rustic bread. We broke the hot bread and playfully squabbled over the strongly-flavored cheese until the dish was emptied. We moved on to the next dish: soft pieces of chicken liver, saut?ed, garnished with onion confiture, placed on thin and crispy triangle toasts, and in short… a supreme pleasure.

The first courses were too tasty for us to eat them sensibly and await the main courses with room to spare. However, with the fuller stomachs, also came the raised expectations of what was to arrive. For our entr?es we chose the dishes which seemed to us the most sophisticated and interesting. I never pass on a good steak, ordered the cuts of entrecote and gnocchi in a creamy pepper sauce off of the specials menu. My darling ordered a salmon fillet in teriyaki sauce over potato puree, while remembering to tell me that fish is healthier than red meat (not that this stopped me from ordering my steak medium rare). The wait had the desired effect and we were ready for what was to come. My desire for meat increased with every sip of the wine.

After long moments of eager anticipation, I indulged myself with a 300 gram entrecote steak, in a rich creamy pepper sauce, along with an excellent gnocchi. The steak was juicy and the gnocchi was soft, melting in the mouth. I loved that I had plenty of delicious sauce in which to dip each bite. The dish, aside from being original, was served in an aesthetically pleasing fashion. The salmon, which was clearly marinated in the teriyaki prior to being roasted was well seared on the outside, brown and sweet, and went well with the buttery potato puree. As always, we shared the dishes, or more accurately, each one of us tried to eat as much as possible from both plates.

For the sweet finish, we ordered cr?me br?l?e. No, no, it wasn’t yet another cr?me br?l?e, but an airy vanilla cream garnished with glazed caramel made of br