Sunday, August 07, 2016

CATIT is haute cuisine, fine dining and more in Tel Aviv(8-6-16)

On our third night in Israel we went next door to Mizlala from the night before, where Chef Meir Adoni has his fine dining CATIT, that shares the same kitchen, but produces food of a totally different style with only about 8 tables  total in a very refined setting with white linens, softer 70's-80's music and a very elegant feel indeed, something very different for Israel and indeed Tel Aviv.
Our server Noam explained the menu here is 7 courses only for 437 NIS (about $115) which is quite steep in this country, but indeed a rare experience. Samuel gave his "food issues" and she said not to worry and we proceeded with Cosmos and Grey Goose Martinis of quite large sizes to peruse the menu and wine list.
Each course had a title and "Israeli Summer in Siam Fragrance" came first which was Yuzu yogurt, smoked and salted granola, meringue clouds dusted with Kfir Lime, Apple, Green Curry Cream, whipped frozen buttermilk (actually frozen with liquid nitrogen) and Thai basil. It came with a miso tulle flatbread with dried shrimp (Sam got a piece without shrimp as he asked for no seafood or fish) which I loved, but Will was not crazy about. The most intriguing aspect of the dish for me was the smoked granola as it had the most original and exciting flavor.
We ordered a bottle of Garage de Papa 2013 Chardonnay from Lewinsohn in the Upper Gallilee which Noam explained was an expat-French winemaker now in Israel and the wine showed its French heritage beautifully.
We did get the same breads from the night before: white sourdough with cilantro seeds and rye with raisins as well as the butter, which was much better here and the red pepper aioli was spicier, as Noam says it changes all the time depending on who is n the kitchen!
You may recall that Sam ordered the Kobniih or Veal Tartare the night before and indeed this was our second course, but this dish was completely different from what was next door as it was indeed even better quality Veal Fillet Tartare with smoked wheat cream, harissa, aubergine cream, tomato vinaigrette, yogurt yuzu, yogurt powder, Persian lemon, roasted pine nuts, smoked wheat puff, Fakos (somewhere between a cucumber and zucchini), Shaklish (goat) cheese, Lia (lamb fat), soot onion and sorrel soup. The soup was actually a green sorrel and soot onion shooter that came on the side along with the most amazing huge piece of hot Druzian spiced pita fresh out of the oven...we were blown away (again, more photos on FB).

"Sea of Asian orchard" was an Amberjack fish tartar with roasted peanuts, kohlrabi yuzu & mandarin vinaigrette, dashi stock and on the side a Tempura Eel Bahn Mi sandwich with Asian pickles(including jalapeno) and Ban mee sauce. Sam's fish was replaced with watermelon & tomato versions, but we were thrilled with ours and while the weal Kobniih was a revelation on the plate, this dish was a close second.
The palate cleanser was "Gordon Beach Mojito" or yogurt, melon, cucumber, tapioca pearls, coriander, whitened almonds, lime, olive il, mojito & habanero granite and mint crunch. I am not a mint fan but loved the crunch, even though the overall dish was our least favorite.

I have to mention that there was a small moveable wall panel just behind me to the other restaurant where the bar was and the drinks were passed through. Every time it opened I turned around and joked with the person passing the drinks through that they must be for me!

Will and I had a glass of eed each and I loved the Shoresh Tzora 2014 from the night before so much I stuck with that while Will had the Catit house blend red from Tulip 2014 Upper Galilee. Both were ideal with "Sacred Cows in New Delhi" which was Seared Veal Tenderloin in Indian Arabica (Espresso & Cacao with flowers), Japanese pumpkin Panna Cotta in Soot Onions, Uzbekian Apricot with Cardamom Crème Fraiche, Dried Black Grapes with Tamarind, Yogurt & Rose Water with a Crumble of Malt, Flower seeds....need I say more.
Lots of thought went into these very complex dishes and it was fun to try eating some of the parts alone, but when combined it was truly amazingly delicious.

Desserts started with smaller pre-dessert called "Paris, Tehran, Bangkok" or Bouchet (goat cheese) Cream, Persian Lemon & White Chocolate Crumble, Roasted red plum, tangerines with olive oil, lychee sorbet, Saffron, Kfir Lime, Lemon grass syrup &B Thai basil.
The fun continued with "East and West Chocolate" with Cocoa biscuit, chocolate Guanaja parfait, coconut chips, chocolate pages, Cremo Managari (French chocolate cream), berries, candied ginger (licorice was omitted for us) & hazelnut espresso, yuzu yogurt, mango salsa, Twill pineapple, mango marzipan & lemon grass. The "Twill" from the menu was actually a tulle....and it also had wildberry powder which was all out of this world. A glass of the house Grappa from Galilee came and we waddled home knowing that fine dining might not get much more exciting than this in Israel, but hoping that the food excitement keeps on coming each and every night like this one.