We have waited for 18 months for this very conveniently situated Bistro/Deli to "settle in". The Deli has been located in this area for much longer and it was with great delight that we greeted the opening of the Bistro. However after visiting very regularly, once or twice a week, since April 2013, it is with great disappointment that we now find ourselves going further afield for our "bi weekly meal out".
The deli always did have a "take it or leave it " attitude. Cold cuts were not always freshest or kept in best condition, but it was handy and we learned over the years which cuts were reliable and which were not. Cheeses are better kept. Specialty items such as the Pannaforte from Sienna are a treat . Most other things can be got locally elsewhere, better kept ,fresher and cheaper.The beef is very good. The deli does stock offal, not so easily obtained in this locality.
The Bistro opened with a flourish and the chef Assaf, is great; he can be outstanding. He is inventive and from time to time produces memorable dishes. Unfortunately none of the other cooks can reproduce his dishes with any reliability. I will miss his mixed offal dish (a variation on the Jerusalem Mix. However if Assaf is not in attendance, the quality is extremely unpredictable. Grilled vegetable have been served cold and swimming in oil. The mixed grill can result in some ingredients overdone, others underdone.
Service is poor. If seated outside and not at the bar, (and even sometimes at the bar),we usually have to beg for water. It NEVER comes automatically with the menu as in other restaurants. Strangely, some of the wait staff work shifts at other places nearby, and there, their service is much better. Outside, is not always the cleanest and dogs are allowed to wander freely. One actually urinated on my handbag which I had left on the ground beside my chair! Complaints have been dealt with by reassurance that "it is getting better'. It never has.
The final straw came when having "joined the club", we found the 10% discount promised did not operate on a Friday. On Fridays, chef Assaf presides over a banquet of ready prepared dishes to take away. Mostly excellent. Having spent the usual 8-900 shekels I was informed that the computer wasn't working that day. No assurance that the discount would be noted and deducted when it was. The usual "take it or leave it attitude" and to add insult to injury I found to my dismay that the cold cut I had bought was tainted. It was returned immediately. There has been no apology forthcoming or any attempt to regain our confidence. Sadly we will not be returning.
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