Address --11 Rupin, Israel Museum
Hours --Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday --8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tuesday-8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
evenings -- available for special events,
can seat up to 120 people
Kashrut -- Rabbinute Yerushalayim; all products are Mehedrin
Al Mansfeld was the first architect of the Israel Museum, a talented man, born in 1912 in St. Petersburg. His family moved to Germany when he was a child and in 1931 he trained first as an architect in Germany then in 1933 he studied in Paris. In 1935 he moved to Palestine. He became a teacher at the Technion in 1949 and was Dean of architecture from 1954 to 1956. He was awarded the commission to design the Israel Museum with interior designer, Dora Gad, and it was inaugurated in May 1965. He died in 2004.
In July 2010 the Mansfeld Café opened under the ownership of Nava Bibi, owner of the Anna Ticho restaurant and current owner of Piccolino. Managing Mansfeld is her daughter, Anat Yazdi. They also manage the cafeteria upstairs in the middle of the Museum.
Issam Mashni, who learned at the Holiday Inn in Tiberias, has been the chef since it opened. A particular characteristic of the café and kitchen, since they opened, is employing special needs adults. The family began this with Ticho House and were one of the first restaurants in Jerusalem to do so. They proudly show the Mayor's certificate of appreciation for their support in employing these people.
One might ask who comes to the restaurant at 8 in the morning. "We are like a neighborhood café," says Anat. "Most of our customers are not coming to the Museum. People come here for meetings before they go to work and from the Knesset and government offices."
When you walk through the main entrance and lobby of the Museum,on the left is a glass wall exposing a room with white tables and chairs for 40 and an ordering and payment area with foods displayed in a glass showcase. A glass wall separates this room from a glassed-in patio which seats 48.
The menu offers 3 breakfasts (NIS 36-54) until noon; 5 sandwiches (NIS 38-48); soup for NIS 28; 5 dishes (NIS 40-56); 7 desserts (NIS 5-32); a large selection of hot and cold beverages and wine and beer.
Anxious to show off the wide selection of dishes, there are two kinds of soup every day, and Anat brought us the signature soup of Anna Ticho House, Onion Soup in a bread bowl with a lid (NIS 28). Grated Parmesan cheese came in a separate dish to use as a garnish. The soup was flavorful and remained hot for as long as we
were photographing it and tasting it.
My companion adores Roquefort cheese so of the 5 salads (NIS 44-56), the sample of Roquefort salad (NIS 46) was very tasteful, especially to him. It contained melon, mango, kiwi and other fruit, herbs and nuts.
The Pasta Salad (NIS 44) had pasta, grilled vegetables, herbs, basil and feta, and was a delectable sample.
Fatush is generally made with toasted pita, but here the delicious sample of Fatush Salad (NIS 44) had toasted croutons among the peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, black olives, herbs and feta cheese.
The sample of Salmon Salad (NIS 56) had the grilled salmon fillet on a bed of kasha with herbs and green beans and would make a healthy and delicious lunch or dinner.
A sample of the Multi-grain Salad (NIS 48) would be great for a vegan or vegetarian with lentils, nuts, whole wheat grains and garnished with cherry tomatoes. Tchina or yogurt is served on the side.
Although the salads we tasted were sample size, we saw the regular size portions in the show case, and any salads could be a full meal in itself because of the size of the portions.
Moving on to main dishes, each day a different quiche is made and served with a side salad. On the day we were writing about the restaurant, we tried the full portion, flavorful Broccoli Quiche (NIS50) sitting on Romaine lettuce with cucumber and carrot slivers.
Every day a different kind of Lasagna (NIS 56) is made. The portion we tried was a little larger than a sample and made with Mushrooms and Spinach. It is served with a side salad.
Another regular size dish was a delectable Baked Potato, cut in slices, and served with a cream and mushroom sauce (NIS46). I love baked potatoes, and the sauce added immensely to the taste.
We could not leave without tasting a few of the desserts--a heavenly Lemon Meringue Tart (NIS 30) on confectioners' sugar with lemon slices garnish. I told the chef this reminded me of my grandmother, who made a fantastic tasting lemon meringue pie.
My companion, being a chocoholic, was delighted when they brought us the mouth-watering miniature Hot Chocolate Tart with chopped nuts on top (NIS 30), sitting on chocolate powder and confectioners' sugar.
They also showed us the Gluten-free Cake (NIS 32) made with almond flour and mascarpone cheese; and the Date-nut Cookies (NIS12) for four.
If you are looking for a top quality vegetarian or vegan restaurant in a beautiful setting,
Café Mansfeld at the Israel Museum is definitely the place to try.
The writer and photographer were guests of the restaurant.