Buffalo Steak House

When you already know the menu a bit, you know just what to order to make your meat meal an experience. Yonatan Sternberg visits Buffalo Steak House in Emek Rafaim to enjoy a meal and remind himself and readers what he likes at this kosher meat spot.

I especially enjoy visiting a restaurant for the second time. One visit is not enough to form an opinion about a place. By the second or third visit, however, one can easily decide what to order, is familiar with the chef’s fortes and, equally important, knows what not to order.

Situated on the southern end of the Emek Refaim road (closer to the Oranim gas station), the Buffalo Steak House offers a pared down kosher menu featuring steaks and grilled meat dishes. One can also choose from various salads, starters, homemade burgers, a couple of fish dishes and more. In fact, Time Out Magazine Jerusalem recently awarded the Buffalo Steak House the aware for best kosher burger in the city.

We started off with the beef fillet carpaccio and chicken liver pate. The thick slice of pate was served with a balsamic vinegar reduction, mini toasts and a couple of spoonfuls of cherry tomato marmalade. My dining companion Oshrit, a big fan of pates, really enjoyed the dish. She mentioned specifically that considering the fact that the chef does not use any butter or cream in his pate, he managed to keep it creamy and flavorful. The carpaccio, paper-thin slices of fresh beef fillet, was delicately seasoned with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, coarse sea salt and a walnut-thyme-shallot relish. The crunchy relish went very well with the meat. It did not take us very long to wipe the plate clean.

While waiting for our main courses we took a few minutes to speak to Buffalo's chef Tal Gazit. After completing his studies at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu culinary school and working at some of the top restaurants in London, Gazit returned to Israel where he worked in several kitchens (e.g. 1868, Bistro – D and others) before joining the Buffalo Steak House's team about 18 months ago. “The food at Buffalo is not pretentious” says Gazit, “we work with excellent meat and other seasonal products, offer generous portions and don’t compromise on quality”.

Following the waitresses' recommendation we ordered two kinds of steak, the leaner beef fillet for Oshrit, prepped medium-rare with mashed potatoes on the side and the rib-eye (entrecote) steak prepared medium with a side salad for me. The steaks were cooked to perfection, displaying uniform grilled marks from the outside and nice and juicy with in. I also enjoyed a glass of Tabor's Cabernet Sauvignon from the winery's Adama series that both complemented and also helped wash down the steak. Needless to say – I was content.

Ordering dessert at a kosher meat restaurant can often be bit risky; hence we decided to ask the waitress for some help with this one. Without hesitation she suggested the chocolate soufflé and notified us that it will take about 10 - 12 minutes. Prepared fresh upon ordering, this warm chocolate cake is well worth the wait.

Buffalo Steak House also offers business lunch specials, hosts private events and also sells homemade hamburgers, kebabs and fresh cuts of meat, aged and treated by the chef on site.