Friday, August 26, 2016

Jerusalem's Mahneyuda is magnificent (8-15-16)

On Monday night we hauled ourselves over to the famous Mahane Yehuda which is one of the great markets of the entire world, where a trio of chefs of set up one of the top restaurants in the Middle East called Mahneyuda. None of the Superstar chefs were in view, but it didn't matter because we had a superb night. We have been warned that the noise here was beyond belief, but when we arrived we were escorted to a table in the extreme rear corner where it was much quieter and we kind of like some of the music that was going on, especially when Samuel started voguing to Meghan Trainor.
At first we were moved around from server to server but we ultimetaly ended up with a super handsome Emanuel who was really wonderful. I should note that the tables are ,the setting more simpler and you have knives and forks wrapped in terry cloth red and white towels. Along the walls of the other room are three rows of huge bins of vegetables looking like a market shelf with superb produce.
I ordered a Gayla's Margarita with tequila Agave lemon and Mescal spelled maskal; One comes to Love Israeli spelling of English words like a Chinese restaurant menu.
Simple white bread arrived with a dense and intense tahina spread. Samuel order the beef tartare with Plum, okra, herbs and lamb yogurt and that must have been his third tartar in like four nights, while Will and I decided to split a couple of starters; we chose first the "Get ready with the bikini" summer style wild sea bass fish tartare which came with watermelon and cashew nuts and truly was a spectacular super Light Summer winner. Our second choice was the eight-legged Mexican Carpaccio of octopus with mojito vinaigrette lime and onion which also arrived with chili, radish, caviar and sour cream and also stole our tongues and made me fall in love.
Polenta came in a gorgeous jar with mushrooms parmesan and truffle oil and then they also sent out a complimentary order of Shikshukit or tahini and yogurt with ground lamb kebab that the three of us could not resist.
Our wine choice was an Avalon Clos de Gat blend of Merlot Cabernet and Petit V erdot 2010 Judean Hills from kibbutz Harel that I immediately ran out and bought the next day. It was smooth and elegant in the glass and really amazing on the tongue.
Will and I chose the filet mignon with red cabbage,  lamb sweetbreads and mashed potatoes and Black Pasta with Swiss chard, asparagus, courgette, mussels, calamari,  scallops and feta to split and we were completely full by the end of these two dishes. Samuel had fettucini with sage butter, artichokes and sun-dried cherry tomatoes that seemed to disappear in three bites.

We really didn't want dessert but couldn't resist the Persian lemon tart from Tehran with fig and meringue which I ordered and then they insisted on sending out as well the Bavarian cream from Ramle with toffee cream from Lod which Will and Sam gobbled up immediately.
During dinner they offered us shots;Sam got lemonade, I got tequila and Will got Vodka; we were very happy campers.
The music does get louder and louder as the evening progressed and yes we had been warned about this, but I must admit that we had brought earplugs and they were not necessary. This was truly one of our most amazing dinners in Israel and an experience not to be missed.