- Written by Buzzy Gordon
Pastel: The Art of Dining
The arts complex that houses Israel’s Opera House, the Cameri Theater and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art is also home to Pastel, winner of Idea Tops’ 2014 International Space Design Award for the best designed restaurant in the world.
Fortunately, the stunning restaurant can rely not only on its impressive décor but also on the artistic creativity of Chef Hillel Tavakuli to attract customers.
It is not just the kitchen that brims with talent. Pastel recently recruited mixologist Shir Dagan from Aria to revamp its cocktail menu. It is with good reason that the full name of the restaurant is Pastel Brasserie and Bar.
The tempting selection of specialty cocktails features the eponymous Pastel Muse, which combines gin with vermouth, lime juice, tonic water and berries, resulting in a slightly astringent drink that is bracing and refreshing. The intriguing Guatemala Sour, meanwhile, blends quality rum with classic sour mix and orange, for a complex citrusy cocktail that is both sweet and tangy.
Another drink with a Latin American pedigree is the Mexicana -- tequila, lime, passion fruit syrup, chili -- an explosion of sweet, sour and spicy in a martini glass. For those who want the experience without the alcohol, Dagan whips up a mean “mocktail” -- berries, pineapple, passion fruit, cucumber and mint -- that is a terrific thirst quencher for Tel Aviv’s hot summer.
A meal at Pastel starts with a basket of fresh, whole grain breads, studded with olives or nuts, accompanied by a tomato salsa in olive oil. The salsa is so tasty you have to be careful not to fill up prematurely.
Our first appetizer was the beetroot gazpacho with smoked labaneh, blue cheese, caramelized hazelnuts and melon balls. Poured tableside by the waitress from a dainty pitcher, this variation on the famous cold soup was a symphony of flavors.
A popular appetizer at Pastel is the chicken liver pâté -- a generous, decadently rich slab of the delicacy atop a toasted brioche. The pâté itself was paired with an intriguing pear chutney, which nicely cut the extreme richness of the star of this dish.
Another of Patel’s classic appetizers is the tuna sashimi: slices of the glistening, burgundy-hued fish were draped over pieces of green apple and cucumber (or avocado, when in season), atop a curry vinaigrette. The astoundingly fresh fish melts in the mouth, and the interplay of flavors and textures -- helped along with garnishes of coriander and chili, and the crunch of scattered chopped nuts -- is extraordinary.
When the time came for main courses, we discovered that Pastel’s special pasta, formerly kept in reserve for vegetarians, had been deservedly promoted to the printed menu. The mafaldine in cream of pea sauce with broccoli and feta cheese rivals the best pasta course any dedicated Italian restaurant could offer. The wavy ribbon pasta itself is distinctive enough, but the combination of the sauce with the al dente cruciferous vegetable, the salty cheese, toasted pine nuts and gremolata (a pesto-like condiment of lemon zest, garlic and parsley) truly made the dish unforgettable. (It is available also as a vegan option: the kitchen would use olive oil instead of butter and substitute for the cheese.)
While Pastel has expanded its vegetarian options, carnivores need not worry: the grilled beef fillet in cream and brandy sauce on a bed of spinach will more than satisfy any steak aficionado. The tender, flavorful fillet is accompanied by superb mashed potatoes, as well as a tower constructed of a bone filled with succulent marrow and crowned with portobello mushrooms.
Fish and seafood are more than adequately represented as well. The seafood gnocchi pairs soft pillows of the potato pasta with shrimp, calamari and mussels swimming in a delicious sauce redolent with garlic.
Finally, the dessert menu is constantly being tweaked, but Pastel’s signature dessert bears the evocative name “floating islands”, whose exotic components include strawberry sorbet, amarena cherries, caramelized pistachio, soft meringue, kadaif and rose malabi. Once again, there is tableside decanting, this time of the malabi, to create an “island” of multi-layered confection. The kadaif, uniquely shaped in a hoop completes the tableau of a dessert that looks almost too pretty to eat.
Chocolate lovers will be delighted with the Ferrero Rocher -- a large candy shell studded with hazelnuts praliné encasing layers of dark chocolate and milk chocolate mousse, with additional hazelnut granite for extra crunch.
Shaul Hamelekh Blvd. 27, Tel Aviv
Tel. (03) 644-7441
Photos Silvia G. Golan
- Written by Jonathan Danilowitz
Once again, for the 22nd successive year, the International Mediterranean Tourism Market (IMTM) will take place at the Convention Center of the Tel Aviv fairgrounds 9-10 February 2016
The successful ITN – ORTRA team is organizing the event again. Israel Travel News (ITN – publishers of tourism magazines, websites and newsletters) and ORTRA (Israel's premier conference organizers) make sure that the fair, which has grown in leaps and bounds from year to year, will be a grand success.
The Israeli public is hungry for travel news on new destinations and also on the old favorites. IMTM is the perfect solution. As always there will be an interesting range of special presentations, screenings, lectures and discussions, some by invitation only, but most open to the general public. This year two interesting presentations will focus on medical tourism, incoming and outgoing. This hot topic is being given center stage at IMTM for the first time. There are multiple aspects and the discussions promise to be absorbing.
One of the desirable "by invitation only" events is the lavish pre-opening breakfast on the first day, exclusively for ambassadors serving in Israel. All ambassadors have already received an invitation. Ambassadors who have not yet responded (“RSVP”) are reminded to do so as soon as possible.
Once again, a series of start-ups under the title of "Digital Travel Dome" (designated separately in the catalog, distributed free) display the ingenuity of Israel, the “start-up nation”, in the field of digital apps that make information easy to find on your smartphone. If for no other reason (and there are plenty of other reasons), make sure to get your catalog when you visit the fair.
No need to say that Israel is going through trying times, so the promised success and numerous exhibitors is a real indication of the attraction that IMTM has for travel-industry professionals worldwide. Cross-border travel is the hallmark of peaceful coexistence. Can tourism will be the flashpoint of peace in the Middle East? Perhaps for world peace as well? Time will tell.
Silvia Golan, the Executive Director of www.diplomacy.co.il , and yours truly, will be at IMTM 2016. We hope to see you there.
The Tel Aviv Convention Center, commonly known as Ganey Hataarukha, is located on Rokach Boulevard in northern Tel Aviv, Israel, adjacent to the Tel Aviv University Railway Station.
Address: Rokach Blvd 101, Tel Aviv-Yafo
- Written by Bat-Zion Susskind-Sacks
An Evening to Remember - Yaron Minkowski at Gindi TLV Fashion Week
The glamour surrounding the Israeli Fashion week was an integral part of last Tuesday’s event where a very unique experience awaited the guests. It was a twofold one.
The first was the line by top Israeli fashion designer, Yaron Minkowski. In the midst of strife, suffering and pain which has been an inseparable part of life in the middle east for Arabs and Israelis, Yaron was able to inject a ray of sunshine, a ray of Hope.
Yaron’s talent and vision joined hands to craft and forge a cemented alliance through the breath of art via the convergence of the ultimate defining symbols of garb, The Kaffiya, the traditional fabric worn by Arabs and his ingenious craftsmanship.
Minkowski envisioned an alternative solution to the current raging conflict. By fusing fashion with the prospects of collaboration between the feuding sides, Minkowski paved the way to Peace on the catwalk.
The models wore the colorful Kaffiya fabric design as glam dresses. The fabrics originated in Hebron and East Jerusalem and were hand delivered to Minkowski's studio in Tel Aviv by the Palestinian manufacturer himself.
The second was the unfolding for the first time of a new line by the youngest fashion designer in the world. Her identity should not come as a surprise. She is the daughter of Yaron Minkowski. Her name is Ori.
Ori launched her own fashion collection (OM) during her Bat-Mitzvah celebration when she was a mere 12 year old girl.
Now, at the age of 14 she has got her own line and was invited to present her own innocent designs at the Israeli fashion show. She was awarded with the honor to open the premiere scene.
It is noteworthy to mention that it is a prestigious opportunity for any Israeli designer to partake in such an event, let alone a girl Ori’s age who started sketching for her own pleasure at the tender age of 5 and later had them translated into fabrics. Her childhood dream was realized through the models who were wearing what once used to be an experiment of her infancy
Photos by Silvia Golan
- Written by Silvia G Golan
Lifestyle: Opening of the New Central of Hair Center Chain
The Hair Center chain of hairdressing shops, owned by businessman Zahi Revivo, opened its new center in Tel Aviv, at 14 Ahad Haam St., facing Kolbo Shalom, which is the fifth branch of this chain, together with those in Haifa, Natania, Rishon LeZion and Beer Sheva. This new center includes, besides the regular rooms, five VIP rooms for private reception.
Founded in 2015, Hair Center always leads the high technology in Israel relating hair treatment and care. Next year Zahi Revivo plans to open three new branches in Tel Aviv and three abroad.
Hair Center Israel is an integral center de of hair treatments, such as hair restoration, extension, mesotherapy, filling and preservation (for women and men). It also provides coloring, cuts, hairdressing, and advanced hair designs, such as straightening, curling, filling, etc.
Hair Center Israel brought to Israel the most advanced method for hair extension using laser and Keratin treatment, widely used in Hollywood, lasting 4 to 6 months.
Phones * 27597 * 8959 *
Instagram #haircenterehadhaam Haircenter_il
Photos Silvia Golan
- Written by MFA
Tel-Aviv Florentin neighborhood second most hip in world
In a city already known for its Bauhaus-style architecture, inspired street art, and 24-hour nightlife, Florentin is the go-to spot for artists, musicians, and people who dress like artists and musicians.
Thrillist recently posted the ten most hipster neighborhoods on earth, stating that although the neighborhood of Williamsburg, NY takes the number one spot, the USA certainly does not have the only say on "hip" as “from Singapore to Stockholm, whole neighborhoods have been overrun with raw denim, ironic sunglasses, and a deep appreciation of the superiority of vinyl records."
The Israeli neighborhood of Florentin in south Tel Aviv came in second place. Thrillist noted that "it's the blend of traditional culture and contemporary style that ultimately drew the hipster crowd there. In a city already known for its Bauhaus-style architecture, inspired street art, and 24-hour nightlife, Florentin is the go-to spot for artists, musicians, and people who dress like artists and musicians."
Florentin attracts many tourists and visitors to Tel Aviv, with its bohemian and eccentric mix of bars, cafes, restaurants and nightlife. Levinsky Street, with its profusion of spice stores and foodie shops, is also a great tourist attraction.
The other eight most hipster neighborhoods according to Thrillist are: Kreuzberg - Berlin, Germany; Malasaña - Madrid, Spain; Tiong Bahru - Singapore; Shoreditch - London, UK; Södermalm - Stockholm, Sweden; Fitzroy - Melbourne, Australia; Vesterbro - Copenhagen, Denmark; Amsterdam-Noord - Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Photo Tel-Aviv's hip Florentin neighborhood
Copyright: Israel Ministry of Tourism