Monteriorie - Fit for the Minister

“Our favorite Hors d'Oeuvre was the dried figs stuffed with goat cheese and walnuts. The figs were placed gracefully in a rich creamy sauce and the crunchy walnuts offered an excellent contrast of texture…” Can a restaurant that serves no meat truly offer a wonderful dining experience? Yonatan Sternberg ate at Montefiore restaurant in Jerusalem and certainly thinks so.

Personally I consider my self more of a carnivore than a dairy person. Unfortunately my partner doesn’t share my passion for meat, hence I often find my self at various dairy (usually Italian) restaurants. Little did I know, however, that this time I was in for a real treat. We made reservations for two and made our way towards the Montefiore restaurant in the picturesque neighborhood of Mishkenot Sheananim.

As you may know, Mishkenot Sheananim was the first Jewish neighborhood built outside the walls of the old city of Jerusalem. This neighborhood was founded in 1860 by Minister Moshe Montefiore. Since then, the neighborhood has seen quite a bit of action serving as a base for the Hagana forces (1929-1948) and playing a key role in the defense of Jerusalem.

We arrived a bit early, Mishkenot Sheananim is a beautiful place to walk through, the old alleyways, enclosed gardens, serene atmosphere, and most importantly the amazing view of the old city make it a perfect site for an evening stroll.

We arrived at the Montefiore restaurant just in time to see the sun set upon the spectacular view of the Tower of David and the walls of the old city. The waiter dismissed our apologies for being late with a smile and we were seated by the window.

As you have probably guessed by know you won’t find any T-bone steaks at this restaurant, however there is no need to worry, restaurateur/chef Moise Peer has created a unique and original menu which will satisfy your cravings.

We started off with an assortment of Hors d'Oeuvres. Our favorites were the dried figs stuffed with goat cheese and walnuts. The figs were placed gracefully in a rich creamy sauce and the crunchy walnuts offered an excellent contrast of texture. Our second appetizer was a plate of artichoke hearts stuffed with a variety of saut?ed forest mushroom topped with a white cream sauce. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the toasted house focaccia which was dusted with dry basil and coarse salt.

After indulging on our appetizers and relishing at the amazing view from our table, it was time to take it to the next level. For our entr?es we decided to order fish, several minutes later our waiter arrived with two plates, I went for the sea bream fillet, while my partner decided to have the salmon, both were served with a baked potato and a half of lemon (of course, in order to be professional I had no choice but to taste both). The fillets were pan-seared to perfection and topped with a delicate olive oil, lemon and herb sauce.

Before I tell you about desert, I would like to use this platform to thank our waiters. It is a real treat to be served by waiters who really take their job seriously. It seems that the Montefiore staff was able to find the delicate balance, they were courteous yet not pushy, friendly yet not intrusive, and simply had great timing. As a person who eats out a lot, I feel that service is an integral part of the meal and Montefiore definitely sets the standard.
I wasn’t sure we would have room for desert but after hearing about the restaurant’s famous cheese cake we just couldn’t say no. The cheese cake was delicious: creamy, cheesy and of a terrific airy consistency. I also sampled the chocolate mousse (again being professional), personally I preferred the cheesecake.

Yamin Moshe, Under the Windmill, Jerusalem
Phone: 02-6232928