“We should really explore this place,” my husband would say, every time we passed by. Whiskey bar and museum on the way to Tel Aviv.
We finally made it and enjoyed a gourmet evening in a very unusual and historic setting. The place was built by the German Templars in the 19th century to be used as a wine cellar and tunnel. They were industrious and idealistic, planting crops that included orange groves, and tending dairy farms and the like, while they patiently awaited what they believed to be the Second Coming.
The historic site has been taken over by six enterprising businessmen and transformed into a kosher restaurant and whiskey museum containing over 1,300 bottles of hard produce artistically displayed in glass cabinets running the length of a long wall . It’s very cool in both senses of the word, with atmospheric blues music playing in the background.
But since we’ve come to taste the food, I’ll get right to the point. Our helpful waiter, Raz, brought us an English menu. As a starter we chose the liver pâté to share.
It consisted of three smears of liver pate with cashew cream, cranberry sauce, sweet onion pickles and toast. It had a good livery flavor, and the various sweet accompaniments contrasted well with the salty taste (NIS 58).
For the main course, I chose my favorite “pargit”, the boneless chicken thigh, which is fat free and juicier than the breast. It had been split open like a steak and braised with something alcoholic – I guess whiskey (78 NIS). On the side, roasted sweet potatoes, always good, and a bean sprouts salad topped with paprika.
My companion chose the asado, a very mild and long-simmered beef in a rich brown sauce also topped with something alcoholic (129 NIS). The accompanying vegetables were an assortment of carrots in different colors. Both dishes were well cooked and satisfying.
As we were quite full at the time, we shared a dessert called Black Sour. It came in a large bowl and it looked like someone had dropped a slice of lemon meringue pie on the floor, picked it up and put it back in the bowl in front of us. But, aside from the presentation, it was good – lemon cream, pieces of passion fruit meringue and mango prominently. The whole building was topped with a crisp black tile (NIS 46).
Several families with young children came to eat during the evening, and there were young people at the bar tasting the whiskey. If you don’t feel like having a meal, you can just taste whiskey – 134 NIS for four 25mm glasses.
Whiskey bar and museum
27 David Elazar (in the Sarona complex)
Phone: (03) 955-1105
Open: Sun-Thursday, 5 p.m. until late; Sat, 1 hour after Shabbat until late.
The writer was the guest of the restaurant.