“My girlfriend ordered the tender and melt in your mouth veal filet medallions. I ordered the tornadoes rossini – a piece of filet mignon topped with a slice of goose liver…” Yuval Blavnekovsky and date are warmed by candlelight at Gavriel, a gourmet restaurant in Jerusalem.

The cold Jerusalem night encouraged us inside, into the warm entrance hall of Gavriel. The restaurant is located on a picturesque alley off Ben Shetach Street, where remnants of stone arcs and ancient structures can be seen alongside the red-brown brick, giving the restaurant a truly authentic Jerusalem look. The menu at Gavriel is composed of well-known combination of French food with dishes and components typical of the Mediterranean kitchen.

As is fitting for a fancy restaurant, the wine department at Gavriel is certainly not neglected. The restaurant has its own wine cellar of fine wines, which are offered to customers at fairly reasonable prices.

The sharp eye will be directed to a few wine cellar pearls – a few bottles that are hard to get today, like a dessert wine called ‘Or’ from Tzora Winery in the Judean hills.

The wine we were poured was the restaurant’s wine of the month, a cabernet sauvignon by Barkan Winery from the fine Altitude Series. A restaurant that chooses a wine of this level as their wine of the month and serves it by the glass and bottle at such attractive prices is owed some major credit. With the wine came house bread and a selection of amazing dips including a bittersweet black olive spread and a char-grilled eggplant paste.

For a starter we got an outstanding veal carpaccio. The splendid display of brown aged beef slices sliced oh-so-thin didn’t disappoint. The conventional sauce, made of quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar, was upgraded with fresh crushed tomatoes. This Mediterranean twist to the classic European dish, so well known in Italy, was simply perfect. Alongside we got a clearly Mediterranean dish of roasted eggplant with green tehina with a European twist - the kitchen at Gavriel served the dish with cubes of beef filet ad roasted peppers. Both the dishes were excellent and promised great things to come with the main dishes.

The creativity in Gavriel’s kitchen expresses itself mainly in the starters. The main dishes are more closely based in classic French tradition – specifically, high quality beef dishes. My girlfriend ordered the tender and melt in your mouth veal filet medallions. I ordered the tornadoes rossini – a piece of filet mignon topped with a slice of goose liver. We are talking about full and utter corruption here – two pieces of high quality meat served as a tower upon which a rich and thick red wine sauce was generously poured. A wonderful dish, combining the melt in your mouth texture of goose liver with a medium-rate piece of filet mignon. Both main dishes were classic and great. The raw ingredients used at Gavriel didn’t disappoint.

To finish, we enjoyed a dessert of ice cream served on a bed of spun halva and two nice crisp cinnamon Danish sticks, which went nicely with the ice cream.

The service at Gavriel is also top quality, polite and just the right level of attentive. This is an expensive Jerusalem restaurant, in an amazing location suited to romantic dinners or important family celebrations. This is a great option for excellent food with a European atmosphere in the city centre.

7 Ben Shetach, Jerusalem