This intriguing review of a place which recently opened in the Carmel Market seemed forum worthy. (Copied rather than linked because the link will expire shortly.
Dining Out / Top-class dining in the Carmel Market
By Daniel Rogov
Even though it is located just a few meters from the entrance to Tel Aviv's Carmel Market, one might easily think that every stick and stone, the bar, the stools and even the ambience at the recently opened HaBasta were imported directly from Barcelona or Madrid. Physically small, a bit crowded, with a well-worn look even though the place is brand new, and with waitresses juggling plates as they make their way through the crowd, this may be a wine bar par excellence. With more than 250 wines in stock, each of which can be ordered either by the bottle or the glass, and with a menu laden with tapas-sized offerings of both meat and seafood, this is the kind of informal place where people who don't mind rubbing shoulders or even starting conversations with strangers will find plenty to eat, drink and talk about.
We opened with two Fin de Claire oysters each, as plump and sea-water salty as one could want. Because oysters were born for luxury, we decided to splurge and ordered glasses of the non-vintage Brut Champagne of Veuve Clicquot. From here we continued by sharing one portion of a seviche of amberjack fish and another of mussels, calamari and mackerel on bruschetta. The raw amberjack, cut in large cubes, tossed with coriander, chili and lemon juice, and then sprinkled over lightly with coarse Atlantic sea salt, was rich and rewarding. The lightly pickled seafood, served on crisply toasted bruschetta, tantalized the palate.
From here I continued with the vitello tonato, a distinctly Italian dish from Piedmont with thin slices of cold roast veal traditionally spread with a smooth, well-chilled sauce of blended mayonnaise, tuna fish, anchovies and capers. The veal was as rare and full of flavor as I could have wanted, but I was somewhat surprised that the usual sauce had been replaced with four small balls that were not so much creamy as they were chunky. I spread it over the meat and although far from the classic version, it proved quite rewarding. My companion opted for a green salad with watercress, roquette and a thin, diced stalk of asparagus, tossed in a well-made vinaigrette sauce and topped with slivers of a Pecorino goat cheese and blanched almonds. The white and brown bread served with the salad were both rich and had excellent crisp crusts.
We continued with two glasses of Italian wine, the first the Dogojolo of Carpinetto and the second the Villa Lucia Chianti Riserva of Castellani. Both pleased.
With our closing espressos, we had a portion of what we were told were chocolate truffles. Although the chocolate was rich and flavorful and indeed sprinkled with cocoa powder, the relation to chocolate truffles was tendentious, as the chocolate was dense and near-frozen enough to be thought of more as a semi-fredo.
Our food bill for two came to NIS 275. The Italian wines we ordered added NIS 28 each to the bill, and the glasses of the Veuve Clicquot Champagne cost NIS 59 each. Worth multiple visits.
HaBasta: 4 HaShomer Street (in the Carmel Market). Tel.: (03) 516-9234. Open Sunday-Friday 8 A.M.-2 A.M.