"The calamari, sliced into rings, was unbelievably succulent and flavourful, not to mention plentiful, and the smoky taste of the eggplant was a lovely compliment…" Rachel Wagner braves a French filled Tel Aviv beach street to sample Forelin's elegant Euro-Mediterranean offerings.
With Sarah working 10 hour days and living all the way across town (yes, a half hour's bike ride counts as 'across town' in Tel Aviv distance) we hadn't been getting in much quality girl time. So, when a free Tuesday night popped up, we decided there was no more splendid a way to celebrate our summer birthdays than a ladies night out at Forelin, a French style restaurant near the beach.
I arrived a few minutes early, but with the city in its current sauna state I opted to wait for Sarah inside. Taking in Forelin's calm, elegant atmosphere, house manager Lior helped me decide that a Kir Royal would be an auspicious way to start the meal. So it was that I sipped on champagne and cassis while gazing out at the endless number of deeply tanned French tourists parading to and from the beach.
Quarter ways through my cocktail, Sarah made her arrival, looking fabulous and commending her own punctuality. A few moments later we had matching drinks and the menu inspection was underway.
Here's the thing – Sarah keeps kosher. Well sort of, I think. So, I did my PC best not to bully her into eating any shellfish. Luckily, Lior (the previous purveyor of cocktails) insisted I try the calamari stuffed eggplant. I had been leaning towards the scallop carpaccio with quail eggs (and I think I might just have to go back for it), but Lior was convincing. Sarah had the roasted peppers and goat cheese wrapped in a slice of grilled eggplant.
The calamari, sliced into rings, was unbelievably succulent and flavourful, not to mention plentiful, and the smoky taste of the eggplant was a lovely compliment. Sarah, who picked her way around the calamari to snatch a bite, was impressed by the eggplant alone – as were we both with the pepper and goat cheese dish, with its cool Mediterranean flavours. We also sampled the rich fish soup – chock full of flaky bits of fish, and available with or without seafood.
The tablespoon sized scoop of grapefruit and campari sorbet successfully cleansed our palates in time for the mains: beef tenderloin steak for me, fish trio for Sarah. Not having paid attention to the dish description I was overwhelmed by the large hunk of meat set before me. 300 gram steaks are not for sissies, and I'm, well….let's just say that Sarah wasn't much help, but I did just about finish it. Nice and rare on the inside just like I'd requested, I was impressed to see that a restaurant better known for its fish and seafood knows what to do with meat. Sarah's trio contained filets of salmon, sea bream and sea bass atop a green apple salad that struck her fancy, as did the idea of being able to try 3 different fish on one plate. My accompaniment of mashed potatoes was also nice – without being too rich like at many fine dining establishments.
It was time for dessert, and even though we'd left our men at home, I'd somehow still got stuck with a crème brulee loving dinner companion. Which meant that, really, we had no choice but to order 2 desserts – the incredibly dense chocolate, espresso and brandy pyramid being more up my alley. I did, however, taste the crème brulee. Though Sarah was pleased, I found it warm and consequently eggy, so I stuck to my sinful pyramid and an espresso.
Caught up on our gossip and sleepy after our long meal, Sarah and I headed out and up the street, where we parted ways, scuttling back to our various corners of town, happily indulged and contented. Forelin10 Frishman St., Tel AvivPhone: 03-5222664