8 Ibn Gvirol
Sun-Sat 12–last customer
It’s all about the fine cut.
It’s often said that good things come in small packages. Therefore, what you realize after eating a good carpaccio is that great things come in very thin slices. After trying Carpaccio Bar in Tel Aviv, I realize that I am not the only person who believes that.
As you sit down and open your menu, you are provided with a short story about the origins of carpaccio. “In the 1950s, Italian countess Amalia Mocnigo decided to stop eating cooked beef as recommended by her personal physician. She asked her friend, Chef Giusesppe Cipriani from Venice to prepare a raw meat dish for her. Cipriani chose a high-quality beef cut, sliced it paper-thin and season it with olive oil and lemon. The amazing tint of the meat against the background of a white dish reminded the chef of the works of Vittore Carpaccio, a famous Italian artist known for his use of bright, vibrant shades of red in his patintings.”
About fifty years after the invention of carpaccio, Asaf was starting his culinary career at some of the most prestigious kitchens in Tel Aviv and London. In the midst of all the hustle and bustle in the kitchen, surrounded by exotic ingredients, Asaf had a vision. During his time in the kitchen he observed people’s interest in appetizers. This realization inspired him to start a restaurant that would transform appetizers into affordable main courses. Through his sincere love for cooking Asaf yearned to provide fine food to a wider group of people. His passion for the cuisine and an endless list of recipes led him to reinvent the traditional concept of food.
While Asaf had the vision and cooking skills, his partners Yotam and Gutman provided the business savvy expertise behind the restaurant. The combination of the three men was a recipe for success and in 2007 they established the Carpaccio Bar, a chic and cozy venue on Ibn Gvirol that offers what they like to call “Street Gourmet.”
From the first tingle to the taste buds, it’s obvious that this is a place for fine palates and daring diners who are ready to experience new flavors. Asaf’s minimalist approach is based on simple culinary logic and he explains, “There are ingredients that are meant to be together, such as truffles and beets, which are both earth vegetables.”
The quality of the food and ingredients is the pinnacle of Asaf’s culinary approach. The quality of the raw meat is apparent in every dish. You can actually feel the freshness of flavor in every one of the ten different dishes, from sirloin to fillet carpaccio.
The menu also includes carpaccio wraps, sandwiches, salads and a fine selection of fish dishes that include ceviche and a salmon tartar. If you are ready for an adventure I highly recommend the daily specials. This is where Asaf dares to imagine and create dishes that are obscure, yet inventive and simply delicious. My ultimate favorite dish is the classic beef fillet tartar: 100 grams of chopped beef fillet served with tartar sauce and four tasty spices and dips on the side. I must confess that I always end up ordering seconds.
Asaf masters the art of flavor. He delicately mixes zesty ingredients such as fried garlic, Dijon mustard, arugula with balsamic, soy sauce, ginger and wasabi with delicate cuts of meats and fish.
The originality and authentic imagination are not only played out in the kitchen. The charismatic owners are always busy planning the next wall painting that Eran Webber will design when he is in town from Italy and it’s hard not to admire the exotic chalk painting.
The staff warmly receives the customers and guides the bewildered among us through the menu with precise explanations and clever recommendations. Once you’re ready to add “street gourmet” into your life and you can appreciate urban chic decor, Carpaccio Bar provides for a truly remarkable night out in Tel Aviv.
**If you have a craving for carpaccio in the middle of your day the Carpaccio Bar serves interesting and affordable business meals, offering a fine combination of appetizers that will fill your stomach, yet keep your palate yearning for more.
Written by Nataly Safir