Thursday, November 16, 2006



As I was walking through downtown Jerusalem today I came upon a restaurant which opened recently on Yoel Salomon Street - one of the main drags for tourists. As Hebrew is our national language - the owners of the restaurant very proudly - I'm sure - translated the restaurant policy into English, to wit: "Only pay for the main course - Bred and Pecales are free". Wouldn't you love to have some bred and pecales?

Speaking of food - (wasn't that a good segue?) - on Tuesday evening I went to a food tasting for my friend Riva's granddaughter's wedding which will be held in December. Before the intifada came along a big part of my business was running charity dinners and weddings and the like so I'm really good at this. Besides - I love food!! I was so impressed with the whole operation - weddings are so diffferent today than when I first came here thirty-one years ago.

Then - you got some indifferent pass-around thingies, the tables were set with maroon - not burgundy or bordeaux but plain old ugly maroon - tablecloths and napkins on top of which was a very ugly and unesthetic centerpiece with a lot of ferns to fill in the holes - there were about a dozen little oval plates with "oriental" salads (oriental in this case stands for Middle Eastern) - spicy carrots, three kinds of eggplant, hummus, tehina, red cabbage salad, white cabbage salad, tabboule - you get the picture - and pitot. For the main course there was what my friend's kids called "reva off mechubas" (one quarter of a boiled chicken - or sometimes roasted within an inch of its life, in which case boiled was better) or well well well done pot roast - need I say more?

Now - there were about twenty families invited to the food tasting. Each bridal couple and family had a table for eight for the tasting with a beautifully printed sign naming the couple - everything was in white - napery, dishes, flowers - and each table had another imaginative centerpiece to give you some idea of what was possible.

And the food - delicious and imaginative. First the salad bar - or should I say salad table - a very large wooden affair with some of the most delicious salads - roasted peppers in three colors, penne and grilled zucchini with some sort of a green herb dressing, shredded kishuim (zucchini) with fresh mushrooms, grilled portobello mushrooms in a vinaigrette, roasted batata (sweet potato) salad - not to worry, they are not repeating ingredients - you have a choice of six out of about twelve salads not to mention baby lettuces with all kinds of fixin's and dressings. And wonderful, crusty breads and rolls.

And a choice of all kinds of pass-around goodies for the "kabbalat panim" (reception) - salmon wrapped with basil in a tempura batter, lamb kebabs with a "kusbara" (cilantro) sauce, salmon terriyaki, vegetarian eggrolls with a sweet-and-sour dipping sauce, deep-fried button mushrooms filled with pesto and on and on.......

And there will be stations for sushi, and hummus with all kinds of toppings, and stir fries - you choose.

And then they had buffet stations for the tasters with three kinds of fish, and an absolutely tender and juicy roast duck, and entrecote steak with a wine sauce, and two kinds of chicken dishes (NOT boiled chicken), and ossobuco and a roast-beef and roast lamb slicing station and all kinds of "tosafot" (side dishes), - grilled vegetables, and different rice dishes and different potato dishes, and sauteed vegetables and, also, on and on and on.....

AND THEN - a selection of desserts the likes of which I have seldom seen in Israel - chocolate mousse bombe, and fresh strawberry tart and roasted pear tart, and chocolate truffles, and Dobosh Torte and individual lemon meringue tarts and all kinds of cookies. And when you factor in that all the desserts have to be parve (no dairy products) and all the food strictly strictly kosher - what an undertaking.

There was so much to taste and choose from that we only had a few bites of each - but, let me tell you - just a bite here and just a taste there and just a nibble someplace else - and by the end of the evening I was realy to burst. I swore that I would never ever eat another morsel again.

But my dear friend, Joey, invited me out to dinner the next night - and we went to hell with ourselves at one of the best restaurants in town - "Cavalier" - and I "ate another morsel" - what a dinner we had - enough already with the food. Will save it for another time.

Stay Safe.


can't write much...running to the kitchen to get something to eat...boy that sounded sooooooooo good...shabbat shalom
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