Looking ahead to Israel’s new restaurant scene outside Tel Aviv


Israeli chef Snir Eng-Sela leads the commercial kitchen, and Harold Moore realizes he’s fed up with it now at a closed new American restaurant in the West Village.
He lived in a narrow single bedroom in West Village with his wife and his 4 year old daughter, Maya. Eng-Sela spent years on the restaurant-world ladder, and after graduating from the American Culinary Academy, he studied at Santi Santamaria’s Michelin Star Restaurant (cabes) and the once rock-solid French Academy of Monttrachet. From there, the Blue Mountains in Dan Barber became a cook’s place, and then took a tour around the Blue Mountains of Mr. Barber in the Shipeng. All of this made him enter the business field, where bartenders converted 17 dollars of cocktail, and the avocado was served with coarse and flaxseed toast, and the menu was filled with pickled bevel and cheese foams.
He longed for simplicity and space. So in 2011, he and his family returned to the suburbs of Tel Aviv and moved into the house that once belonged to Grandpa Eng-Sela.
But Tel Aviv has changed in the decades since Mr Eng-Sela’s death, with luxurious new restaurants and sky-high rents that look like New York, where he just fled.
“This is definitely not the country I left,” he said. So when Guyeh and the owner of Daniel, a village pub on the Israelis’Sharon Plains, approached him, fresh air alone was enough to make him agree.
It has been about a decade since Tel Aviv’s food scandal attracted worldwide attention, with local sons like Meir Adoni and Eyal Shani succeeding in Paris and New York. But with so much hype amid the uproar and rising prices, Tel Aviv restaurants are now moving north in search of quiet pastures.

Like Mr Eng-Sela, many settled in the Sharon Plain, which straddles the coastal lowlands between Haifa Island and Tel Aviv, from the Carmel Mountains south to the banks of the Yarkan River. A series of restaurants run by new chefs are turning this once sleepy place into Israel’s latest gourmet destination.
Brunch in green flowers
Gouje and Daniel are a big, charming restaurant with white brick walls and a vast view of Sharon Valley, both fastidious and bright. Moshav Bnei tsion, a 45-minute drive from Tel Aviv, is a cooperative farm of green granite that offers a reduced menu of local ingredients from France and Italy.
Seasonal specialties, whatever they are, are the freshest, whirling alongside a range of classic menus, including hand-rolled squid, a thick, ring-shaped pasta with white clumps, a trademark root vegetable salad with citrus sauce, and Venetian veal cutlets. The restaurant also offers a farm-style Brunch Buffet with roast vegetables, local cheese, freshly baked bread, smoked fish, etc. on a long table.
Eng-Sela said, “I think it’s much better to eat outside Tel Aviv now.” “Visitors are more open-minded, more comfortable.” “For me, being able to make really good food without the cruelty of New York or Tel Aviv means that I can have a family and be a cook at the same time.”


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