I haven't had this much fun at a restaurant in a long time. The food is authentically Romanian, made of the best quality products and very tasty. We had a selection of classic salads including chopped liver with fried onions, as well as eggplant and ikra (fish eggs) both plentifully accompanied by chopped onions. All were delicious and prepared the way we remembered they should be. I was slightly disappointed that on the day of our visit they went too easy (for me) on the garlic. This may suit others but is a compromise they shouldn't make. We continued with Romanian kebabs (mititei) and french fries. The kebabs were grilled perfections of flavor and juiciness and the chips just right. Don't forget to order a splendid side of crunchy flavorful pickles, pickled tomatoes and cabbage. The final crescendo was a wonderful papanache (can't describe - needs to be eaten!). There are many more choices on the menu, but we had no room left. I promise to go back for more and am already day dreaming about such goodies as the matias starter and the mamaliga with cheeese and cream. I can't emphasize more that although food of this type is often a heart burn precursor Rapsodia's creations only leave good feelings in their wake.
But this place is not just about the food. It is about walking into a time warp that transports you back to Israel of the sixties and seventies. The only reminder of contemporary reality is the flat screen TV hanging off the wall. Basically you enter directly from the street into a small space (probably a shop years ago), crowded with tables and packed with old-timers, most of them of Romanian-Jewish persuasion, vocally having a great time. Everybody seems to know everybody else and of course the ins and outs of the great menu. One obvious regular, hugged by Gabriela, the owner, studiously watched the proceeding over a brandy or two with a knowing smile on his face.
This place doesn't seem to attract many youngsters (their loss). The only ones there when we visited were celebrating their granny's 91st birthday (she's in great shape and even danced with Gabriela). The walls are covered with touristy knicknacks brought home from trips to the mother country.
Everyone is warmly received by Gabriela, a feisty lady, formerly an opera singer in Romania. She multi-tasks as maitre d', overseer of service and the kitchen and lead entertainer. She chats with all the guests, moves to the kitchen and returns to sing medleys of Romanian and Italian pop songs of years gone buy. Of course there was a hearty rendition of the Romanian happy birthday song. Music is supplied by an enigmatic guy in the back corner producing rhythmic golden oldies on an ancient synthesizer. What a pleasure! Had there been room for a dance floor, not only granny would have shimmied with the owner. The musical interlude is offered on Friday afternoons and evenings and as the website says "sometimes on Tuesdays".
We parted with hugs and kisses from Gabriela.
Go there and have a great time.
By the way the address is 3 Salameh Road (or as it is officially rendered in Hebrew on city maps 3 Derech Shlomo) and its full name is Rapsodia Romana.
Reservations probably a must, at least on Fridays