“While tempted to order a steak, I decided that this time, I would go for something different. My first choice was a shoulder of lamb in a mint and parsley chimichuri and a side salad of cucumbers, fennel and red onions….” Yonatan Sternberg mixes it up at one of the city’s top kosher meat restaurants – Angelica in Jerualem.
Until not to long ago (sometime in the mid 90’s I think), finding a good kosher steak in Jerusalem was relatively impossible. Sure, there were always a couple of places to go and indulge in excellent food, but at those prices these restaurants were reserved for special occasions. The predominant option was to order a simply titled 'beef steak' or 'steak ayin' (a poor translation of rib eye steak) at one of the many Middle Eastern grill houses.
Luckily those days are well behind us, and today, though the situation is still not ideal, there are several excellent meat restaurants which prove time and time again that there is such a thing as a delicious, high quality and kosher steak. Angelica is one of these places. Established almost two years ago by Chef Erez Margi and chef/restaurateur Marcus Gershkovitz as a kosher fine grill and meat restaurant, Angelica's varied menu includes an assortment of cooked and roasted meat dishes, prime steaks sold by weight as well a couple of fish and vegetarian options. After nibbling on some fresh bread, aioli and colorful antipasti that was brought to our table, it was time to order our starters. Oxtail raviolo (single for ravioli) in mushroom and beef broth sauce for Oshrit and the veal brain bruschetta topped with cured lemons, Swiss chard and green olives for me. The pasta was delicious, a single large ravioli swimming in concentrated veal, porcini and truffle broth. Don't get me wrong, the oxtail was perfectly cooked and literally melted in our mouths, but the sauce was the true star of this dish. The bruschetta was pretty good as well; the combination of pickled lemons and veal brains was an interesting combination hailing from the Moroccan kitchen.
Margi mentioned that "the menu changes according to the season and the offerings of the market. In winter you can expect to see plenty of stews and root vegetable based dishes, and as the weather gets warmer the dishes change and become lighter relying on fresh seasonal produce".
While tempted to order a steak, I decided that this time I would go for something different. My first choice was a shoulder of lamb in a mint and parsley chimichuri and a side salad of cucumbers, fennel and red onions. The meat was tasty and the crunchy and refreshing side salad really complemented the lamb. The second dish consisted of duck breast with a maple glaze, a few spoonfuls of concentrated goose thigh and chestnut stew and sweet potato root vegetable puree. Oshrit was more than content with this one. The duck was prepared just as it should be, slightly crispy on the outside and nice and pink within.
Angelica also employs an in house pastry chef who is in charge of the dessert menu. We sampled the rich creamy chocolate and cherry pudding and a dish which included kadaif, fresh strawberry and banana and a white wine and saffron zabaione. Both were pretty good and the double espresso which arrived at the table informed us that it was time to call it a night.
By the way Sunday to Thursday from 12:00 to 17:00 Angelica also offers special business lunch menus (NIS 62 – 102) which include an assortment of starters and a main course. During these hours diners can enjoy all you can drink wine specials at very reasonable prices (assuming you don't have to drive or go back to the office). If you happen to be in Jerusalem during the Passover holiday, Angelica will also be open, offering a special kosher for Passover menu.
Angelica7 Shatz Street, JerusalemTel: 02-6230056