Kosher - Rabbinute Jerusalem
Hours: Sunday through Thursday 12:30-4:30 p.m. for business lunch
6 p.m. to last customer for dinner
Friday and Saturday - closed
Saturday evening - one and a half hours after Shabbat ends until last customer
Chef Marcos Gershkovich and Chef Erez Mergi opened Angelica in September 2008 in the Montefiore Hotel on Schatz Street and named their restaurant for the daughter of Boris Schatz, founder of the nearby Bezalel Academy of Art and Design.
After four years, they decided to look for a new location, reinvent the restaurant as more independent (not downstairs from a hotel). In addition to attracting the customers from the surrounding hotels, as well as their cadre of regulars, they have also been trying to interest young people.
The new property is done in a very contemporary style--a few doors from King David Street, opposite the King David Hotel, down Washington Street to a small path to a garden and large picture windows at the entrance.
The main dining room has simple black tables and chairs to seat 26, tile floors, white china and sparkling crystal. A red leather couch sits by the picture window for seating next to the tables there.
On the ceiling are mirrors--something to look at and talk about!
In the back is the bar with bar stools for nine and a large, glass wall looking into the highly-organized kitchen. To one side of the bar is a wall of refrigerators holding the extensive wine collection with a hanging wine rack above.
Behind a pleated curtain divider is a private room which seats up to 16.
Up a step to the right of the main dining room is a smaller dining 20+room with wooden walls and floors, large arched picture windows and seats for 25.
Soft background music plays while one soaks up the warm atmosphere.
On the night we came, Chef Erez Mergi was cooking dinner at Prime Minister Netanyahu's home, so our hosts were Yonatan Maman, manager for the past two and a half years; and one of the two sous chefs, Adam Aizenshtat.
While we waited to see what the sou chef wanted us to sample, like all patrons, we were first given delicious rolls along with home-made olives, tomatoes with an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing, babaghanosh (eggplant with tchina), and mustard aoli with goose breast.
On the menu (Hebrew and English) are 12 choice appetizers and soup from NIS 40-64.
To start, sous chef Adam sent us a sample of cream of coconut soup with fish-filled dumplings, wild mushrooms and herbs, with just a little bite from the chili pepper yet a very interesting blend of tastes (full portion NIS 56).
Fish sashimi with cilantro, radish slices and olive oil and a very unique lemon and soy tapioca (which looked like caviar) was next (full portion NIS 52).
After each course, the waitress changed our silverware and dishes.
Next was a beet lovers joy--endive salad with roasted beets, and a crispy lamb and balsamic vinegar dressing (full portion NIS 58).
Moving on to main courses, there are 13 choices ranging from NIS 92 to NIS136.
Filet prime cut of beef, usually served with pearl onions cooked in a veal broth and served with potato puree and garlic confit (NIS 114) came to us with pearl onions and bok choy. The meat was rare, like we like it, and very tasty.
The next entree we sampled from Sous Chef Adam was an elegant seared goose breast with very flavorful smoked duck breast and duck sauce, whipped potatoes (my companion's favorite type of potatoes) snow peas and a citrus accompaniment (NIS 114 full portion).
Our final tasting was the veal fillet (normally 220 gram serving at NIS 134)
in a red wine sauce with grilled vegetables and potato puree. The meat is served like a fillet mignon piece, which was melt-in-your-mouth tender.To our surprise, it was accompanied by a roasted purple potato and a roasted white organic carrot--both exceptional.
While looking around and marvelling at the excellent, attentive and knowledgeable wait staff, two of the seven desserts on the dessert menu were presented to us.
A fantastic looking, round, white china tilted bowl held fresh strawberries, layered with a vanilla tuille (a thin, crisp, sweet French wafer, named after the shape of French roof tiles) and just sweet enough but not overly sweet patisserie cream (French vanilla pastry cream)--NIS 42.
My favorite pie is lemon meringue and the amazing lemon tart was served on a large white plate with cleverly made, original, meringue crowns in the shape of Hershey kisses, garnished with meringue slivers and various berries (NIS 42).
Although we did not drink any wine, the wine menu is amazing--8 sparkling wines; 11 white wines; 27 red wines; 20 miscellaneous from a total of 25 wineries. There are also 19 choices for whole bottles from the cellar.
When Angelica was in its original location, I wrote that an evening dinner at the Angelica restaurant is about as close to "heavenly" as one can get. From the new very modern design to the gourmet kosher food, with exceptional presentations, we were back in heaven again. This is definitely the place to impress a date or celebrate for a birthday, anniversary, promotion or other special occasion.
Photos by Barry A. Kaplan/Jerusalem
by Sybil Kaplan
Photographs by Barry A. Kaplan/Jerusalem