Mona is arguably one of the best restaurants in Israel and most certainly in Jerusalem. We were hesitant at first, because it is now owned by the people who run Jerusalem's Mahneyuda restaurant, one of our least favored places. Our fear was baseless. Mona and Mahneyuda exist in two very separate and different planetary systems. Mona is what you expect of a top class chef's restaurant - great food, beautiful location, excellent service, value for money and leaving a strong desire to go back again.
Mona offers a tantalizing bistro menu with a range of offers that should satisfy almost every taste from meat lovers to fans of the sea as well as vegetarians. Not easy to choose. The menu avoids the trendy but obnoxious and indecipherable descriptions so loved by Mahneyehuda. It tells you clearly and unambiguously what the offerings are, In the end we went for a creative and mouthwatering starter of seared calamari and the best polenta with mushrooms and parmesan that I have eaten in a long time. A nice surprise was the caesar salad offered on the house. Based on other reviews this gesture is prevalent at Mona, but no less appreciated. That was followed by a truly classic and perfectly executed boeuf bourgignon and a delectable burger. By the looks of the other available dishes and reactions of neighboring diners, they were all top notch. The pear tart for dessert was very enjoyable, but perhaps a bit below the standard of the previous courses. The repast was well accompanied by the Israeli Trio winery's Secret, a fruity, medium bodied combination of cabernet, merlot and sirah grapes.
Service was as good as it gets and our server Yoav was friendly, very knowledgeable, helpful and there when we needed him. We called the chef out to receive our personal thanks and compliments.
Mona is located in a wonderful old Jerusalem stone building that houses the city's Artists House. The decor is cozy, comfortable and inviting but in no way distracts you from what you came for - a delicious meal. The restaurant also has a nice bar that looks inviting for an evening of imbibing.
Mona is not cheap, but certainly not more expensive than other restaurants of similar standard and quality in Israel and abroad.
We will definitely go back and warmly recommend Mona to anyone looking for a very satisfying culinary experience in Jerusalem.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.