Monday night I accompanied David Rhodes to review Café Michal, a restaurant located on Tel Aviv’s busy Dizengoff Street. The evening was one of great food, wine, and company. The cafe felt like a Parisian cafe from the 1940s. Diners sat at rustic wood tables accompanied by mixed and matched chairs and couches. The restaurant felt open and airy with long windows, and vintage chandeliers hung from the ceiling.
This was my first restaurant review working for Israel’s Wine & Dine Digest. We were seated right away, and our waitress was extremely friendly and attentive offering us a glass of wine the minute we sat down. David recommended that I try a glass of the Israeli 2011 Domaine du Castel Petit Castel since I like deep, rich, and full-bodied red wines. David on the other hand had a glass of the Israeli 2012 Ella Valley Sauvignon Blanc, suggesting that a white wine would be a better pairing with the type of food on the menu.
To start off, the restaurant staff brought us some of their favorites—Gorgonzola Paté served with crostinis and chutney, and salad with artichoke, feta, cherry tomatoes and greens. When they brought the food out I wanted to dig in immediately, but reviewing a restaurant requires waiting for the photographer to take photos before you can eat. While David’s photography intern photographed the food, I sat there and pretended to be patient. Once the photographs were finally taken, all three of us went right for the Gorgonzola Paté. This dish was a definite table favorite. It was creamy and rich, and the saltiness perfectly accompanied the sweet chutney. As David said, he could see many people going back again and again just for this dish.
For appetizers, David ordered sea bream ceviche, roasted eggplant with tahini and a chicken salad with green apples and tabouli. The chicken salad was also a favorite. David noted that it might have been one of the most tender chicken dishes he had ever tasted—quite the compliment coming from someone who’s living revolves around tasting food. After the appetizers, I was already completely stuffed and could not believe we had yet to eat the entrée course. I told myself this meal was my warm-up for thanksgiving coming up this Thursday.
For entrees, we had stuffed peppers filled with beef and rice, veal scaloppini in vegetable stock and marsala wine served with mashed potatoes, and Pappardelle with spinach, Jordan and Portobello mushrooms topped with mascarpone cheese. We were stuffed, secretly praying that they would forget to give us dessert. Of course, since the staff was so hospitable, they did not. We were brought grappa and puff pastries filled with cream. As everyone knows, there is always room for dessert and of course we ate them. Overall, the experience and food were great at Café Michal, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a reasonably priced, enjoyable culinary evening in Tel Aviv.
Café Michal is located at:
230 Dizengoff Street, Tel Aviv