As our restaurants reopen for seating after closures of three months -- with “purple seal” regulations requiring temperature checks and social distancing between tables -- most of us do not need incentives to jump back into Israel’s vibrant culinary scene.
Still, it’s always fun when we have a special reason to go out, or even just more variety if we decide to stay home and order in.
Pepsi Max presents a Festival of Flavors
Pepsi Max has teamed up with eight popular eateries nationwide to pair specially created colorful menu items with a cold can of the zero-calorie soft drink by Pepsi Cola.
Most dishes will be presented in atypical colors, while all will be sold with Pepsi Max included in the price.
The featured restaurants range from Haifa in the north to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in the center and include:
Abu Marun Hummus (Haifa): pink Thai hummus
Falafel Musa (Netanya): orange Tripolitan falafel
Sushi Rehavia (Jerusalem): deconstructed sushi with red beet and orange sweet potato
Frank (Tel Aviv): Mexican chorizo sausage with green jalapeno
Tony Vespa (branches throughout central Israel): Diablo Pizza, with six kinds of pepper
The three dishes we had a chance to taste -- and recommend -- are:
PizzaPil (Tel Aviv): Pride Pizza, featuring vegetables the colors of the rainbow flag (purple onion, red tomato, green pepper, yellow corn, orange sweet potato)
Captain Hamburgers (Tel Aviv chain): Captain Burger Max (double burger piled high with onion rings, lettuce, tomato and pickle);
Pekin Chinese restaurant (Tel Aviv): Pink cellophane noodle salad
Those preferring to order from home (deliveries are available), may do so here.
A bonus from Serafina: six top chefs will cook for you
The upscale international Italian restaurant Serafina, which opened its Israel branch in Ramat Aviv last year, has invited six of Tel Aviv’s most prominent chefs to join Chef Michael Yaakobi in the kitchen to create one guest menu per week, in addition to the regular menu.
The chefs will rotate every Tuesday evening for six weeks (16.6-21.7).
The first chef was Shahaf Shabtai, executive chef of El Al Airlines. Shabtai created a four-dish Italian-Asian fusion menu comprising two first courses and two main courses. The delicious dishes were largely reminiscent of what we now miss with the departure of Nithan Thai from the city’s culinary scene.
The next chefs on the Serafina schedule are David and Yosef (23.6), of the downtown restaurant of the same name; Omer Miller (30.6), who had left the fine dining world to found the Susu and Sons burger empire; Ro’i Soffer (7.7), formerly of Bindella and currently from the roster of Omakase exclusive private chefs; Aviv Moshe (14.7), of the Messa group of restaurants; and Avi Bitton (21.7), of Cafe Popular and the Sulica chain of premium delicatessens.
The cocktails, wine list and desserts are all from Serafina’s regular menu. Reservations are required -- especially if you want to sit in the spacious al fresco area, ideal for these virus times.