Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Rosh Chodesh Adar: Eldad Vezehoo

Shims and I have been talking for awhile now about starting a blog about restaurants in Israel. Why? Because we love food and we love going out to eat. Back in the stone ages when we were first dating, We began a tradition of going out every new month to a new restaurant. Although there have been short lags, usually after a kid was just born, or the month of Av , we have faithfully kept this up for over six years and have been better off for it.  We thought of starting it last month but we didn't want to start off with a negative review. 

This month we went to Eldad Vezehoo, recommended to us by some friends. The restaurant is located in Jerusalem's Fiengold Square. When walking in, I was surprised by the homey and kitschy decor, and the very open kitchen. Shims says he always like an open kitchen so there is nothing to hide but I was not impressed with the clean but not chic look. However I did realize during our meal that the scent wafting from the kitchen definitely added to the experience. While deciding on what to eat i was almost confused by the clash of decor with upscale menu choices and table settings i did not know what to expect.

On the recommendation of the waitress we started with the Fois Gras grilled in Calveros sauce . We almost always ask the waitress for suggestions because  i feel they would know what is best on their menu. For the main course, I chose the hanger steak and shims went for the veal fillet with portobello mushrooms and port sauce. 

The fois gras was cooked perfectly, lightly seared on the outside while still creamy in the middle. The sauce was quite good although on the sweet side I felt it needed a bit more acidity, since the liver itself has its own natural sweetness. For some reason the liver was served over some kind of coconut cake, akin to almost a macaroon. Needless to say it was pretty disgusting so we refrained from eating it. 

Along with the appetizer came fresh hot rolls and  a trio of salads: beet, carrot, and sweet potatoes. The beets were under-seasoned, the sweet potatoes were decent although typical, but the carrots were  surprising.  They were blanched then dressed with a acidic ginger sauce which was very unexpected and delicious.  Shims was disappointed that no spreads were served with the bread but I enjoyed eating it with the liver and its sauce. 

The main courses came and thank g-d they did not overdo shims steak. My husband likes his meat extremely rare and you cannot believe how many times restaurants overcook a steak which he has ordered as blue, bloody or simply moooo. To my disappointment my steak was cooked exactly how I ordered it "rare". I like my meat medium rare but have been burned too many times in the past when ordering medium rare and getting medium (more on this in another post). My hanger steak lacked a nice char but was definitely a good piece of meat, which I enjoyed.  However, the sauce that was served on the side was disheartening, it was thin, flavorless, and all around did nothing to add to the steak. Although I enjoyed my meal on the whole, it paled in comparison to the veal fillet that was served to my husband. Shims steak was fabulous and the port sauce, infused with cinnamon only accentuated the meats inherent tenderness and sweetness while not overpowering it.  As an accompaniment to the steaks they served baked fries and a medley of root vegetables. The potatoes were superb and the veggies were quite good, however I was unimpressed that the same exact side dish was served for two very different steaks and sauces.  

Since this was a rosh chodesh meal we indulged in dessert. We ordered the "french lemon cake" and the trio of sorbet. These were good, but nothing to write home about. It is rare to find incredible desserts at a meat restaurant in Jerusalem since most places buy their desserts from a third party rather than make them (ill talk more about this in another post).

The service was good and the waitress steered us right on the menu. All in all we had a good time and enjoyed the food. I would rate this restaurant a C+ and Shims gives them a B,  but he says I judge to harshly (more on this in a future post)