Friday, August 26, 2016

hail to Herbert Samuel at the Ritz-Carlton in Herzliya where haute cuisine can stil be casual (8-25-16)

Our last night in Israel was at the Ritz Carlton Hotel just north of Tel Aviv in Herzliya on the sea, so we decided to eat in their restaurant called Herbert Samuel after Israel's premier kosher fine dining chef. The setting was very simple and had a nice view out over the marina and the sea and the service was impeccable; they even poured the San Pellegrino which hadn't been done anywhere before.
We celebrated with cocktails before dinner with will having a Campari and tonic and me trying a Spicy Scotsman, which was a shot of Glenlivet with a cinnamon stick some lemon juice and a hint of vanilla which was indeed a slightly spicy and delicious drink.
I perused the fancy wine list which was installed on an iPad and chose a wine which our waitress Ron (pronounced Rone)said was not available; so much for updating an iPad.
She did however offer us the Yatir 2012 viognier for the lower price and we had had it before and loved it.
As soon as Samuel openef the menu he knew he was having the Beef Tartare with a Russian cornichon salad which turned out to be a pickle salad very heavy on the Russian dressing and mayonnaise along with some pickled radishes. It was an excellent Tartar and had an egg on top which I am usually doesn't like decided was acceptable in this case. Will joined him in the beef tartare and I chose the Peruvian Salmon Tartare with togarashi crispy bean noodles, chili sauce and cilantro which was out of this world.

We decided to order the Tomato Salad Herbert Samuel which came with gorgeous heirloom tomatoes both grilled and fresh, as well as some egg and olives and a healthy dose of zaatar with other herbs, onions and dressing that was perfection.
For main courses Samuel chose the lamb chops and Will opted for a superb Mediterranean Drumfish fillet which was grilled with potatoes, Swiss chard, saffron in a yellow tomato sauce. I love my sweet breads which came a la plancha with a fava bean puree as well as crunchy okra.
Our second wine was the only Pinot Noir we had had during the entire trip a 2012 Golan Heights Winery Yarden which was excellent full-bodied and delicious.
None of us could face dessert and we headed upstairs to bed.