"Probably one of the few authentic Italian restaurant's you can find in Tel Aviv. Home-made pasta, relaxed ambiance and great service ... 'Back in old Napoli,that's amore!'"
*All pictures were taken by my dear and talented friend Jessica Bruning, watch out for more of her photography on my blog!
One is greeted by a quaint entrance on the corner of the street, stained glass door, lined by lemon trees and 2 patios along the side of the building, where it’s possible to dine and watch the locals returning from the shuk (market). Entering the restaurant, warm contrasting walls of red velvet and cream and a 1940’s Edward Hopper-esque design. Antique mirrors and framed vintage prints surround the area, a beautiful highly-polished bar over a mirrored backdrop of alcohol. Another wall that has shelves of various wines, large wooden beams, geometric floor tiles and ceiling fans add further interest; the dark wood furniture and checkered white and red napkins complement the warm red tones of the wall adjacent to the bar. Booth seats and a mixture of square and round tables, which are completed with sweet flower bouquets in white and blue floral jugs, the napkins and vintage glasses. The air-conditioning vents are exposed purposely and form part of the design. All design elements have been carefully thought out and executed beautifully, the result – a casual, relaxed atmosphere.
The menu includes great starters like beef or fish carpaccio, favourite pasta dishes, like ravioli and gnocchi and pizzas (which I’m told are the best in Tel Aviv!). There are also vegan-friendly dishes throughout and of course they offer classic Italian desserts like panna cotta. Most of the main dishes have a small and large portion to choose from, which is advantageous if you want to try a variation of dishes.
We all chose the ‘lunch prefix’ which includes a main dish and a complementary side dish, add an extra 18NIS if you are chosen the smaller main. I had the Market Salad which had similar ingredients to a Greek Salad (feta, purple onion, cucumber) only its dressing was a sharp vinegary lemon tang, with a crunch of pumpkin seeds, baby radishes spring onion and juicy tomatoes. We had their beautiful bread that came with a balsamic vinegar and olive oil dip. My main dish of Ricotta Ravioli was delicious, I regret taking the smaller version as I could have easily had another! The sauce was a rich, velvety creamy buttery sage, the pasta was done perfectly with a perfect amount of sweet potato filling which was surprisingly light.
My friends were all satisfied with their dishes: Sardines and with grilled peppers and Mushroom and Truffles Gnocchi; Beef Carpaccio and Beef Stew over a bed of polenta; Minestrone Soup and Carbonara Pasta. And lastly desserts of Tiramisu and Profiteroles laced with chocolate and vanilla ice-cream.
Jessica said that the minestrone soup had an intense tomato flavour, without being too acidic, her Carbonara pasta was al dente and the seasoning and flavours together were exceptional, the runny egg added to its consistency. And her bacon was tender and juicy. Her tiramisu at first bite didn’t taste very sweet, but she said after the second spoonful you realise it’s not a very sugary dessert and the flavor is concentrated more on the creaminess of the mascarpone cheese with the coffee, cocoa and spongy biscuit.
The music was divine, I found myself “Shazaming” (check out the phone App ‘Shazam’ to identify unknown tracks), the settings together with the music, and you almost feel like you are in a time warp, back in the 1940’s. Our waitress was a young olah and was very helpful with the menu choices. Overall a pleasant dining experience, perhaps on the expensive side and the only small thing missing was a proper pepper grinder.
Jessica happily enjoying her Carbonara Pasta dish:
Music Sampler from the restaurant:
Bob Dylan – If Dogs Run Free, Wilma De Angelis – Quando Vien La Sera, Peggy Lee – I get a Kick Out of You &Enrico Reggeri – Nuovo Swing