Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Touring Middle East 13: Italian in Jerusalem

We were out again for dinner in Jerusalem - this time with a bigger group of six fellow travelers in our group. As the evening fell under a special Sabbath day after sundown (as part of the Sukkot festival) and many restaurants closed early (it's Jewish tradition to fast during Sabbath), the hotel concierge recommended this non-Kosher Italian restaurant called Adom to us

The restaurant is located inside a shopping/entertainment complex converted from the Old Jerusalem Railway Station, just a short taxi ride away from our hotel. The place was surprisingly lively (while the rest of the town were quiet with many shops closed as early as 4pm) and the restaurant, both the outdoor terrace and the inside dining area, were packed. I guess many still had to find somewhere to eat.

Food menu was presented on a single piece of paper with dishes mainly of classic Italian cuisine, but a few fusion choices mixing local ingredients and cooking. The wine list was in a wooden box categorized first by price point (from Casual all the way to Out of the Box, Fancy and Wow) and then varietals. Dishes were amazingly good – I guess sometimes it’s easy to forget most of the Israeli coast actually borders the Mediterranean Sea, so they have every legitimate claim to classic Mediterranean cuisine as everyone else with access to all the great ingredients in the sea.

The tomato salad, one of our appetizers, was out of this world, with a colorful presentation of several types of tomatoes, olives, basil, croutons, red onions, capers and chunks of mozzarella underneath, all combined for the explosive fresh flavor with the generous drizzle of olive oil.

The seafood risotto was brilliant with scores of seafood, cooked with coriander, garlic, saffron, cream and a touch of curry in the rice for that exotic twist. Lamb Osso-Buco was done in the classic Italian way – slow-cooked then served with red wine sauce. The portion was so big that we weren’t even able to get to the mashed potatoes served on the side.

We went for three desserts to share. The tahini icecream was the one with more local flavor, with tahini and pistachio icecreams served with date honey, raw tahini and black sesame tuile. The other two (pavlova with raspberry coulis and ganache and cassis sorbet, and caramel apple crumble with popcorns and vanilla and basil icecream) were more classic but equally well-executed.

Coming to Jerusalem expecting boring Kosher meals every day, I was genuinely surprised by the variety of ingredients and cooking style found in this town. This is as good a casual Italian trattoria as any one you can find anywhere with an excellent vibe. We enjoyed our meal and our time of eating together.

When? October 11 2017
Where? Adom, 4 David Remez Street, Jerusalem, Israel
Menu Highlights? Seafood Risotto with Shrimps, Calamari, Mussels, Curry, Coriander, Garlic and Cream
Drink? 2015 Flam Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
Web:  www.adom.rest/en

(Touring Middle East - Part 13)

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