The Accad Wine Bar stocks nearly 100 Israeli wines, all certified kosher, sorted into 14 categories. The vintages are curated from the country’s largest and most prominent wineries, as well as from respected boutique wineries. At any given time, more than a dozen different wines are available by the glass, many of which are featured on a tasting menu that rotates monthly or bi-monthly.
The pricing policy encourages sampling multiple vintages: tastings by the glass start at NIS 44-54 for one glass, but two glasses cost only NIS 54, then three for NIS 87 and four for NIS 111. The knowledgeable staff will gladly explain the wines and show the bottles on request—which can be very helpful, since we discovered several serious discrepancies between the menu descriptions in English and Hebrew.
There was only one sparkling wine and one rosé available by the glass, but we enjoyed them both. There is a dizzying amount of choices when it comes to the reds and whites, comprising varietals and blends, ranging from sweet to dry and light to full-bodied.
The wines were accompanied by saucers of assorted olives and washed, salted almonds. While sipping the wines, it is advisable to peruse the wine menu’s two categories of tapas, featuring five bruschettas and six small plates.
Leading off the first category is the house bread, a yeasty sourdough served with three spreads: a salty black tapenade, garlic confit, and an excellent aioli made with peas.
Other recommended bruschettas are the gravlax on toast, which was outstanding despite not coming with crême fraîche or cream cheese, and the beef fillet bruschetta with pickled shallots, arugula and mustard aioli.
In the second category of tapas, the perfectly cooked white fish fillet, paired with pea puree and white asparagus, was very good.
The wine bar, which physically replaces the hotel’s former fine dining restaurant, nonetheless still incorporates some of the meat restaurant’s dishes, on a separate menu. This is the menu that also lists desserts, such as fresh seasonal fruit and delectable assorted chocolate truffles.
Finally, there is a more than adequate selection of digestifs and liqueurs, including cognac, grappa and brandy.
Accad Wine Bar @ The Dan Accadia Hotel.
Ramot Yam 122, Herzliya Beach.
Tel. (09) 959-7070
Che Cigar Bar and Lounge
Like the Accad, the David InterContinental’s Che Cigar Bar underwent a transformation earlier this year, to a lounge where smoking is permitted (in the otherwise smoke-free property). And like the Accad, the centerpiece of this lounge is an impressive mahogany bar, behind which is displayed a glittering array of bottled spirits.
But that is where the similarity ends. Instead of standard restaurant tables and chairs, the Che Lounge is furnished with comfortable leather arm chairs, creating the relaxing ambiance of a sophisticated gentleman’s club. Adding to this rarified atmosphere are the illuminated wooden cabinets showcasing humidors stocked with the most prestigious international brands of cigars.
There is plenty here to appeal to smokers and non-smokers alike. The selection of premium whiskeys undoubtedly ranks among the best in the city, and the list of kosher wines from Israel, Argentina, France and New Zealand—six reds, five whites, one rosé and four kinds of champagne, with a total of five vintages available by glass—is more than adequate.
But the mixology here is second to none. We were handed a menu of no fewer than 18 specialty cocktails, presenting us with an embarrassment of riches and difficult choices, if we were to drive home.
There were several versions of gin and tonic, made with Tanqueray gin and with Fever Tree tonic. We settled on the Italian and the “fruity”—the former spiked with Aperol, and the latter garnished with flavorful seasonal fruits: pomegranate and carambola. Both were refreshing, while the Italian understandably packed a heavier punch.
Turning our attention to the food menu, at first we were disappointed to learn that the beef carpaccio was unavailable, probably because we were there on a Saturday night. Fortunately, our designated substitute—the veal arrosto—filled the bill admirably: thin slices of expertly seasoned roast veal were piled generously on large squares of toast, making for an auspicious beginning to what we had planned to be a light repast.
The unstinting theme continued with our order of the vegetable plate—a veritable platter of crudités comprising seven vegetables in brilliant hues: red and yellow cherry tomatoes and sliced capsicum, orange carrots, white cauliflower and mushrooms, and green celery and cucumber, joining together to form a healthy medley.
The crispy veggies were not accompanied by any dressing, but as soon as we requested some, a delicious creamy vinaigrette was whisked to our table.
Before embarking on our next course, it was time to wet our whistles again. I could not resist a concoction called the Velvet Tango—spiced rum, Pisco, mint and brown sugar, garnished with orange peel. It was pure delight, like drinking a liquid candy bar.
My companion went in the opposite direction, ordering McCallen scotch neat. The 12-year-old single malt was unavailable, so he was upgraded, most happily, to the better stuff, aged for 18 years.
Our friendly waitress recommended the mini-burgers, which conveniently come in pairs, while I was intrigued by the fish and chips made with barbunias. The two small burgers were juicy and flavorful, while the lightly battered and gently fried whole fish were done just right. The chips were actually steak fries, hearty and satisfying.
The dessert choices were limited to two, no doubt owing to it being right after the Shabbat. The pecan pie had the correct ratio of gooey filling to crunchy nuts, while the trio of sorbets—coconut, raspberry, and especially the passion fruit—burst into flavor with every cool bite.
The Che Lounge is equipped with three large-screen televisions, tuned to sports channels; thankfully, the sound is muted, except when important football matches are televised. Thus, while the clientele of the bar might tend to be predominantly male, it is still eminently suitable for a romantic interlude.
Che Cigar Bar @ The David InterContinental Hotel.
Yehezkel Kaufmann St, 12, Tel Aviv.