Wednesday, November 20, 2013

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Review: Ricotta Restaurant, Jerusalem

imageJerusalem has it’s share of fine restaurants, the vast majority kosher and a good portion mehadrin (glatt kosher).  Most of these are focused around the hotels and touristy areas.  And while that’s very nice, especially if you’re visiting Jerusalem, it’s less convenient if you are either doing business in Jerusalem or coming from the residential or ultra-orthodox sections of town.

Within the past year a series of restaurants have been opening (or upgrading) in the Har Hotzvim area, just at the edge of the Jerusalem industrial park and just outside of Kiryat Belz and Sanhedria.

One of these restaurants is Ricotta, a new upscale fish/dairy and Itailian restaurant, mehadrin (glatt kosher).  They’ve also been advertising heavily in Mishpacha Jewish Family magazine, so you may have seen their ads.

Ricotta is located at the base of the Jerusalem Technology Tower, opening onto a little plaza and facing Kiryat Belz.

The décor is professional with a hint of modern elegance, dark brown wood tables with brown wood and tan chairs – a color scheme repeated throughout and matching the exterior plaza and Jerusalem stone of the city.  The restaurant is spacious with an open floor plan, offset by a curved glass window-wall facing the plaza.  During the day this fills the restaurant with natural light, at night it presents a stunning view of the lit plaza and surrounding landscape.

Seating was swift and service attentive.  Menus were available in English and Hebrew, and the staff multi-lingual.

2013-09-01 Parents Out 002

I met my wife for lunch, which offered an abbreviated menu.  For an appetizer we ordered mushroom caps stuffed with goat cheese, and a deconstructed french onion soup.

The mushroom caps were nicely baked and flavorful, though they were challenging to eat without splattering during cutting (meaning we got splattered).  Partially pre-sclicing them or providing a sharper serrated knife with them would have avoided this problem.

The deconstructed french onion soup was somewhat disappointing.  While the soup base itself was a nicely prepared onion soup, the traditional bread base was served as small croutons to add as desired, and the traditional thick cheese coating was a small amount of parmesan cheese that could be spooned onto the top.  Both the quantity and type of cheese was the disappointment – a french onion soup without the cheese coating just doesn’t cut it.

For the entrée we ordered a grilled salmon dish and a sweet potato ravioli.

The grilled salmon was exceptionally large, particularly for a lunch portion, and was cooked to absolute perfection.  The spicing was very complementary, the accompanying vegetables prepared extremely well.  It was literally the best salmon either one of us has ever tasted.

The ravioli was served in a cream sauce, and was well prepared and enjoyable.  The quantity was similarly large, and similarly enjoyed.

The meal was served with a wonderful warm bread loaf, together with some soft butter and Israeli condiments.  Both were excellent and an enjoyable filler.

The pricing is a little on the high side, but they are certainly providing the quality level to demand it.  For our lunch meal we spent ~NIS 150, about $45.  Cheap by U.S. standards, but not by Israeli standards.  Regardless, the meal served was well worth the price.

Service was very attentive without being intrusive, really very good (and it’s unusual for it to be so good in Israel).

We enjoyed it, recommend it, and will be going back.

They’re located at Kiryat HaMada 3, Jerusalem, Israel, and can be reached at 02-5870222.  They’re open for lunch and dinner.  מהדרין בהשגחת בד"צ מהדרין ירושלים  - Their web site link.

(Note this is an unsolicited review.  I have no relationship with the restaurant of any type.)

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