Monday, January 03, 2011

Much Nicer Dinner

The weather was much warmer yesterday, so I wore my shorts. In the afternoon, I went down to the beach and stuck my hand (the uninjured one) in the Mediterranean. It was tepid, but still warmer than the Pacific in August. By the lifeguard station I saw some of the giant surfboards my father remembers from when he grew up here. He and his buddies built one on the roof of an apartment building and then lowered it through the stairwell. I think he called it a "kheseke."

Around sunset a headed back to the hotel for happy hour. They have a nice spread in the breakfast room around 5 pm, and so my mother and I had some white wine, and then some cava. We didn't want to eat too much since we were going out to dinner at 6. Dad joined us at 5:30 and Rochelle came in about 15 minutes later. We decided to try Brasserie for dinner, as this has a very good reputation. I asked the front desk to make us a reservation, and while it was a little difficult, we got one.

The taxi driver turned out to be an Iraqi Jew from Kirkuk, so we chatted about the experience of Iraqis in Israel. I had to smile as he bragged that among all the groups of immigrants to Israel, only the Iraqis had a reputation for truth and honesty.

The restaurant is on Kikar Yitzhak Rabin, near the City Hall. It's a french restaurant, very popular, and very good. The waitress was extremely helpful, coping with the numerous questions. In the end, we started with three portions of the crab ravioli (excellent, we all agreed), and one of the herring. "Is this matjas?" dad asked. It was also very, very good.

For the main course, I had to stay away from anything that required cutting, so I went with the fish meunierre (I'm not sure what the english name for mosar is, but the waitress described it as a white fish from the Atlantic, very juicy and fresh). My mom had the same, dad had the roast chicken, while Rochelle had the linguini with clams. We all enjoyed our meals immensely.

For dessert, Rochelle and I ordered the crepes suzette, while the waitress told us she was going to give us a second dessert as a treat and a surprise. It turned out to be milles feuilles. (which none of us could figure out how to pronounce), which is one of mom's favorite desserts. The waitress called it by its Hebrew name: krem shnit (Polish/German actually, for "cream slice"), when we asked her what its name was. We loved both. The crepes had a brandy orange sauce and homemade vanilla icecream. The milles feuilles had strawberries in the bottom layer.

After dinner we walked across to the Rabin memorial and then took a taxi back to the hotel. After breakfast this morning, we're taking a taxi to Jerusalem.

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