28 Achad Ha’am
Sun-Thur 12-23; Fri events only; Sat 1 hour after Shabbat-last customer
There is a restaurant in France, known for bravely having one item on it’s menu. This special meat eater’s haven takes no reservations and has food lovers waiting outside for up to forty minutes for a table. The famed steak, salad and fries complete with secret sauce is served at the world famous and iconic L’Entrecote Paris. 2000 miles away from this steak phenomenon, the owners of L’Alhambra , wanted to bring the model of L’Entrocte Paris to Tel Aviv, offering similar style of cuisine with an Israeli edge. With expectations set extremely high, this was not a challenge for the feint of heart. Owner Amir Shechman and Chef Ziv Reuben worked endlessly to pay tribute to the original L’Entrecote and to exceed the originals’ caliber. This endeavour took years of development to create. The simple act of making a sauce as good as the original took two weeks of research in Paris.
The L’Alhambra team began this journey by choosing a well deserving location for their honorable restaurant. To maintain the integrity of the original L’Entrecote the owners strategically placed the restaurant in a location with high historical significance to Tel Avivians, The Palatin Hotel. Built in 1926, the building was one of the most modern and beautiful buildings in Tel Aviv. Famed German architect, Alexander Baerwald, built the Palatin using a blend of modern architecture, European design and Oriental influences.Today the owners of L’Entrecote have honored this historic site by preserving the integrity of the building while creating a dining establishment that celebrates the best of dining. Their dedication to the same level of quality that the building was founded upon, is illustrated in the refinement of the food, the sophisticated service, and the smart interior design. From the moment you walk through the door of L’Entrecote, it is clear to see that you are in for a special experience.
From the stylish, yet minimilist decor, to the polished look of the tables presented with sleek silverware, and the dedication to precise, home-made food using the finest ingredients Yaron’s bold statement, “Our focus is the customer, and we want every visit here to be as memorable as the last,” is palpable.
Everyone around us savors their luscious meals, the smiles and sighs of contentment are contagious.
The feast begins on a bright note with homemade bread and a selection of house made dips, olive and tomato, each exploding with flavor, full of spice while maintaining the best elements that tomatoes and olives have to offer. The the dips were merely something to whet the appetite and prepare oneself for what is to come.
The world famous Heston Blumenthal states that food should not be overpowering yet it should create a “party in your mouth,” when I tried the duck liver pate with pineapple chutney, it did just that. Delicate, creamy and exquisite, the chutney perfectly complimented the subtle taste of the pate. The main course was to be the house dish and what the restaurant was primarily built on, as inspired by its European counterpart. The steak graciously arrived at the the table cooked at a perfect medium rare, with beautiful yet understated garnish, secret sauce served on the side in a gravy boat, and crisp fries to round out the meal. A divine smell was wafting through the air-the taste could not be any more perfect. The secret sauce that was so meticulously created by chef Ziv certainly lived up to expectations and enhanced the flavour of a prime cut of Argentinean meat. The meal certainly spoke for itself, the environment enhanced the experience.
L’Entrectoe successfully converges the marriage of new and old. Mr. Shechman has done an exquisite job of preserving what is tried and tested while adding fresh, unique elements, making the experience there both nostalgic and relevant. From the moment you set eyes of the majestic building to the moment you encounter the chic interior, you are reminded of the significance past and present of Tel Aviv. With all the right elements, mouthwatering food and attentive service, L’Entrecote has proven Kosher cuisine can replicate with its food, looks and style qualities that the finest non kosher restaurants in the world. L’Entrecote has made a a grand entrance in Tel Aviv’s dining scene!
Written By: Aaron Yarm
Photos: Nicky Kelvin