Friday, January 27, 2012

Fortuna Del Mar: Tel Aviv, Israel

Date:  27 janvier 2012
Location:  Tel Aviv Marina behind Carlton Hotel, facing water
Telephone:  +972 57 944 4036

I love this place.  Fresh, savory, simple, casual, always open - especially during Fridays 4pm lunch when rest of Tel Aviv has already surrendered to siesta.  Don't ask me why I always take weekend lunches so late.  It's Soledad on the Medi, that's what.  We learn fast don't we?  Always living a passionate life to the extreme - so lunch is not noon but... past 16:00.

Most of all, Fortuna Del Mar is a great place to eat tasty, simple mezes, watch the sunset, and only walk a few steps across the street from my gorgeous flat on the beach of Hayarkon, Tel Aviv.  Oh, they also have a fantastic breakfast, if you can make it up early enough.  :)  

Fortuna also prepares good pasta dishes and very good seafood (muscles, clams, fish).  Soledad life on the winter Medi Sea in the sun, across the street from my real life.  Charmed life!  

Beets salad.  Fresh as can be and so tasty, light, refreshing.  Great starter dish on a cool, yet sunny winter day  on the Tel Aviv Medi Sea.  

Fortuna Del Mar.  

Me, chillaxin by the sea.... sunsetting and me very happy with my own home brought bottle of Pierre Yves Colin Morey, 2008 Le Trezin Puligny Montrachet.  The only bottle in all of Israel, hand brought be Sole. 

The beaut:  Pierre Yves Colin Morey, 2008 Le Trezin Puligny Montrachet.  I requested proper glasses (should've brought my own, seriously!);  they didn't have so I opted for snifters (for brandy or whisky) - which did the trick perfectly.  Crystal with serrated glass on inside would have been better.  Still though, this Puligny lived up to its weight.  

Eating, pontificating, sipping my FANTASTIC wine, and sunsetting... 

And here we are, at Fortuna Del Mar.  Mezes plate and fresh garden salad, full of savory fresh greens and toasted almonds for texture, sweetness, and crunch.   

Shila: Tel Aviv, Israel

Date:  25 janvier 2012
Location:  182 Ben Yehuda Street
Tel Aviv, Israel
Tel:  +972 57 943 9018

Clean, simple, fresh.  Tasty.  A little less salt will do.  Mais en generalement - tres bon dans sa simplicite.  Good vibe and nice bar area.  Adequete wine list.

Must thank my sweet friend T.A. who always picks the good places.  ^_^  Oh, and did I mention this place is literally 5 minutes walking from my flat?  I am lucky, while the two boys braved the rain showing up in G*Star and Dianese wear with their scooter bikes.

Bar area, in center of restaurant as you walk in.  

Le menu.

Bread, hummus, middle eastern style KIM CHEE (ha!), another tomatoe base sauce.

Iron salad:  Spinach, endive, beets, and feta cheese in walnut oil dressing.

I don't remember....

Excellent dish!  Seafood salad prepared with avocado, anchovy, soft-boiled egg, and tobiko.  

Blurry pick sorry, people were waiting to eat!  Steak tartar with tomato vinegar, quail's egg yolk, and capers.

Tel Aviv Port Farmer's Market: Tel Aviv, Israel

Date:  26 janvier 2012
Location:  Tel Aviv Port
Tel Aviv, Israel

Tel Aviv port has a farmer's market much like other cities - San Francisco (Ferry Plaza), Barcelona (La Boqueria), or Madrid  (Mercado de San Miguel  

Here, it is a smaller version (since Tel Aviv is a small city), yet same colorful idea.  Fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, artisanal cheeses, cafes cooking up local Mediterranean seafood fare, some wines (hehe it's me, Sole!), dried nuts, and of course cured meats.  I am always happy walking through this place because it reminds me of the many travels (home and abroad) where I laze the day away, eating my way through the market, picking at things here and there.  Pero NO TOCAR!  Translation:  Don't take that single cherry from the middle of the huge triangle stack!!!

Take a stroll through the Farmer's Market and eat your way through, and finish with a cup of Americano.  Then walk outside again along the port and watch the sun setting on the waves crashing against the shore.  The Medi life  Slow it down, take a breath, and smile.  Solesmile.  :)  

Friday, January 13, 2012

I ♥ Cafe Breakfasts in Tel Aviv!

Date:  vendredi 13 janvier 2012
Location:  On Ben Yehuda, between Benedict and the small green grocery store
(in true Israel fashion, I'll just omit the exact street coords and simply swag it!)

Outside temperature:  11C/52F, Rainy

I <3 cafe breakfasts in Tel Aviv.   I love the cafe culture here in Tel Aviv.  Anywhere on Ben Yehuda, Dizengoff, Rothschild, etc., you will find loads of small cafes with charming small plates prepared with the obvious fresh, local, simple ingredients.  This late morning, after my usual Friday manicure pedicure at French salon, strolled over with a fellow ex-pat friend of to see what was good and warm to fill our tummies.

We happened upon this small cafe - name slips my mind as it was in Hebrew (I know, I know, Ulpam soon!).  But it is exactly between Benedict Cafe and the little green grocery store.  You can't miss it.

We were quickly seated (must need for those out til 5am in need of food and drink stat) and served complimentary hot apple mulled cider with spices.  This time of year in January finds Tel Aviv a bit wet and rainy - Soledad's favorite kind of romantic, cozy, San Franciscan weather.  The hot drinks were happily appreciated.

Complimentary bread was served, and soon my light morning vegetarian breakfast of leek pancakes and chickpea salad was brought to us.  We also ordered the shakshuka, which was one of the better ones I have had here in Israel so far.  It was simple, clean, and not laden with grease.  Good for San Franciscan Soledad fine palate.

We lazed over a good, clean casual lunch over conversation replaying last night's events and sharing our collective experiences here thus far as foreigners.  So much experienced in past few months, so many insights, so many observations, viewpoints constantly in flux, Israel amazing for these experiences YES!  Let's see what the future brings.

After we left and strolled back past the cafe, the manager ran to chase me down - informing me that my friend had left his credit card behind earlier.  Wow.  I love this kind of honest behavior.  Friend was extremely appreciative too.  I will definitely be back.  And frankly, the food is tastier than Benedict (more savory, more local), and there isn't the wait.  Stress free breakfast/brunch dining.  My kind.

As I write this at 17:00 local Tel Aviv time... I hurriedly press "Publish Post" as I finish off some work and then get ready for Friday Shabbat dinner with an adoptive host family (thank you for taking me in, you know who you are!).  I promised to bring some amazing wines to please their wine collector Father's palate.  Let's see if I can impress!  You with me @  Oh yes, I think you are.   ^_^