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Good restaurant for Erev Shabbat in Tel Aviv

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Cincinnati, Ohio
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Good restaurant for Erev Shabbat in Tel Aviv

My friend Louis and I will be arriving in Tel Aviv on the evening of Friday, October 20. We hope to be staying at the Melody Hotel on Ha-Yarkon across from the Hilton and Gan Ha-Atzma'ut (Independence Park), but may be at the Metropolitan further down Ha-Yarkon if the Melody's renovations aren't done by then.

I have learned the hard way that restaurants that are open on Shabbat tend to be crowded with secular folks looking for a meal out. So I'd like to book our reservations before I go. We probably don't want a really heavy or fancy meal that soon after getting off of a plane, but we like nice food.

So what would you suggest as our first meal in Israel in Tel Aviv that Friday night? Just so you know, we'll probably eat at Orna v'Ella one night, and probably at either Raphael or Manta Ray the other night. So that leaves Friday evening.

Suggestions?

Thanks!

Douglas Duckett

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1. Re: Good restaurant for Erev Shabbat in Tel Aviv

Sorry to tell you but Manta Ray is not what it used to be. The views are great, it is expensive and the food has gone down...try another place. Nahalat Benyamin street has become a new "spot". Try Orca. I have been there for lunch and it was great. It has a good reputation. Not on the cheap side though. You have to book a place, the phone number is 03-5665505. There is Mul-Yam in the former Tel Aviv port, which is really expesive. There so many restaurants, what do you like? I know a few places with great views like Cafe Aladin in Jaffa overlooking the see from a cliff, but the food is so simple. It is a great place for a beer or an afternoon coffee.

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2. Re: Good restaurant for Erev Shabbat in Tel Aviv

Thank you so much for your helpful reply, Shoshi.

First of all, I had a brain lapse -- I'm actually arriving on Motsei Shabbat, not Erev Shabbat, so more places will be open.

We will just be coming off of an 11-hour flight, with earlier, connecting flights, so we won't want anything too heavy or too fancy. I like fine dining, but on this first night, I want something close by the hotel (the Melody, unless the renovation isn't done, then the Metropolitan). We love just about any kind of food. Kosher is not important but not an obstacle. I can tell you restaurants that I love there -- Orna v'Ella and the Olive Leaf in the Sheraton. But would like to try at least one place new. And we want one night of fine dining -- maybe Raphael?

Thanks for your help -- can't wait to be in your lovely city!

Douglas Duckett

P.S. What do you think about Gilly's in the port area?

israel
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3. Re: Good restaurant for Erev Shabbat in Tel Aviv

Hi Douglas

I had in mind mentioning Gilliy's at the port, I was there once (it opened recently at the port) and had a Roast beef sandwich (very good) as it was late afternoon. The place is lovely and I suppose if you don't want a heavy meal it might be the place. Book in advance. All the places at the port are jemmed. I have another idea - Yoezer Bar Yain in Jaffa. This is not for your first night after a long flight. It is in an old Jaffa building, near the clock, more like a cellar, with great food and wine. Not cheap. Imaginative desserts too. Would love to read your comments. Orna V'Ella are a good choice for that first night. Another place I like is Pastis on Rotschild. Here you can have a full meal or just a salad or fish soup. They have nice deals at lunchtime.

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4. Re: Good restaurant for Erev Shabbat in Tel Aviv

Thahks for the reply and further suggestions. I think we'll try Gilly's that first night because of its proximity. Are you familiar with www.telavivguide.net? It's a great, new English-language site for visitors to your city. Early on after it was created, I posted some items that they now have on their blog, and the creators were very grateful for the contribution on what was then a quite lean site. I have gotten to know Alon and Iri from that cite, and they recommended Gilly's. By the way, Iri offered to take me and the friend who will be traveling with me on a tour of "his Tel Aviv," showing us some of the sides of the city that he loves that may be off the beaten path. I'm very excited about that; he's a life-long Tel Avivi, and I can't wait for the chance to have a look at places that aren't on the standard tourist itinerary.

You make a good point that maybe we ought to try the Yoetzer wine bar in Yafo one night. I've read about that for years, and people speak highly of it on telavivguide.net. That site has a good restaurant section, by the way, and you might want to add your own local expertise to that, since you've become such a helpful poster on this site!

We will probably have dinner at Orna v'Ella (to which I am very loyal) with my friend Aeyal Gross, a professor of international law at Tel Aviv University. Both my friend Louis and I are lawyers (friends from law school actually), and I want him to meet Aeyal and his partner Ofer. They eat at Orna v'Ella two or three nights a week; they live on Sheinkin. Plus that's such a fun district.

I'm getting more and more excited about being in Israel again, and your city! Od pa'am, toda al kol ezratecha.

Douglas Duckett

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5. Re: Good restaurant for Erev Shabbat in Tel Aviv

P.S. If you are willing, Shoshi, drop me a line at Labatt@fuse.net

Douglas Duckett

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6. Re: Good restaurant for Erev Shabbat in Tel Aviv

P.S. If you are willing, Shoshi, drop me a line at Labatt@fuse.net

Douglas Duckett

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7. Re: Good restaurant for Erev Shabbat in Tel Aviv

One more note, Shoshi:

I think we'll do Gilly's on the Saturday night we arrive (October 21). That leaves dinners for two more nights (Sunday and Monday). Sunday night we'll probably have dinner with Aeyal and Ofer, likely at Orna v'Ella. Assuming that I only have one more dinner -- I don't want to have multiple meals and go home as fat as a cow -- I have narrowed it down to these choices:

Yoetzer bar ya'in

Mul-Yam

Raphael's

I don't mind having an expensive meal; I like fine dining, and the other two are more moderate. I love The Olive Leaf, but I've done that. I do love great seafood, but overall like wonderful food of any kind (that's the problem!).

Which of those would you most highly recommend?

Douglas Duckett

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8. Re: Good restaurant for Erev Shabbat in Tel Aviv

Hey Douglas

I just flew home last night from Tel Aviv. I love Tel Aviv! My origination was in Jerusalem, but if I was to arrive in Tel Aviv with jet -lag, I would walk south on the beach to Banana Beach (green umbrellas and chairs)

...and have dinner on the beach overlooking the sea with your toes in the sand and a bottle of wine .....Ahhhhhhh! It's simple, the food is yummy typical Israeli fare, hummus, salads,kebabs, etc...

Loretta

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9. Re: Good restaurant for Erev Shabbat in Tel Aviv

When you get your feet under you and your head back on after the jet lag, I hope you'll post a full trip report. Again, welcome home!

Douglas Duckett

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10. Re: Good restaurant for Erev Shabbat in Tel Aviv

Banana Beach in November? Depends on the weather. But if weather permits, go for it. Food will be second place. About the 3 choices, I'll ask around before repling.

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