Abraxas Tzafon, Tel Aviv

Abraxa kitchen
So many people told me we have to go to Abraxas Tzafon.  We were scheduled to go there the last night in Tel Aviv but we realized we were leaving in the morning not the evening and we had to get it in.  We opted for lunch.  For us, it was the right call.  Much more mellow than dinner from what I am told.  The music was spectacular from Leonard Cohen to Billy Holiday to Nina Simone to Serge Gainsbourg.  We sat at the bar which surrounds the kitchen.  Everything we ate was absolutely given thought to in terms of the flavors and prepation.  You knew that there was a smart cutting edge chef behind every plate coming out of the kitchen and that alone is a reason to go to Abraxes Tzafon.

Nice start of having a brown paper placemat with a little whole salt and pepper placed on the top for flavoring. 

We split a few things to start.  A killer tomato salad.  Simple yet sublime.  A variety of tomatoes from cherry to Italian sliced and then doused with olive oil and dry herbs and salt. If you peak inside the kitchen there is an entire area just devoted to tomatoes.  You have to love that.  I particularly like the presentation of the top half of the tomato that is usually set aside.

The whole cauiflower was amazing.  My guess is that at a very high heat the entire cauliflower is roasted and then served to you wrapped up in parchment paper.  Everything is served on paper or wrapped in paper.  We were each given a plate for the share but I think we were lucky to score the plate.

Fred and I ordered the pizza with sardines.  Fred loved the flavor of cheese with a salty sardine.  Didn't really do it for me but loved the bold idea of mixing the two.

Emily had a bowl of pasta, not too spicy.  A well made simple marinara sauce with a few herbs I couldn't exactly point out over pasta with a little grated cheese. 

Josh went with the burger.  I didn't taste it.  He said it was good and interesting.  Lots of different sauces that were different with sliced tomatoes and onions on a really good bun.

Our waiter told me that out of all the pita sandwiches that the meat one was the one to get.  Think of a Philly cheesesteak in a pita bread with Middle Eastern spices.  Quite good.  It was if I had it before but had never had it before.

We ordered a round of ribs which we thought were going to be spareribs instead it turned out to be lamb chops on the bone.  Wrapped up in parchment paper stuffed with the lamb and some sauce.  Quite good.

Espressos for everyone.

Dessert was a must.  He gave us each a small dessert to start on the house.  An incredible rich cream with a lemon bite and espresso poured over the top.  Truly delicious.

Carmelized bananas served with a chocolate sauce and a huge portion of whipped cream.  How could that be bad?

The finale was the chocolate mousse.  They bring it out wrapped in parchment paper.  They must pipe it in.  Deep dark decadent chocolate mousse with more whipped cream.  Woah.

So glad we did a lunch there. Even watching what the other customers ordered.  There was an open faced swordfish sandwich with sliced celery and a type of cream of the top and a pizza with creme fraiche and pepper.   Truly a unique and innovative spot.  

Comments (Archived):

  1. Debbie Stier

    I want to go back to Israel just for that meal alone ;)My kids are both going to go next Summer. Have been loving watching your trip.

    1. Gotham Gal

      You can meet them there for one of many good meals

      1. Ryan Drew

        “Think of a Philly cheesesteak in a pita bread with Middle Eastern spices.”It looks delicious. I feel a Middle Eastern cheesesteak would be hugely successful in the US.

        1. Gotham Gal

          it would probably would.

  2. Steven Kane

    Joanne, thanks for the (as always) great fun material. You should catalog and index the restaurants etc you have blogged about — you must have a solid library by now?Any case, planning a trip to Israel and Jordan for 2011, definitely will consult back with Gothamgal.com !

    1. Gotham Gal


  3. Idan Cohen

    So glad you got to eat there, one of my top 3 places in TLV and the one I can go to 3 days in a row and still enjoy it.I love how most of the dishes are practically made up from one ingredient. So simple yet a celebration of good ingredients.Can’t wait for my next visit to check out their new place, it’s called Hamiznon – and its more of a food stand where everything is served in a pita, should be interesting.

    1. Gotham Gal

      I wish there was a Hamiznon in NYC>.