Mort Laitner
Mort Laitner

The Ones That Got Away

Halva in Mahneh Yehuda market עברית: חלווה בשוק מחנה יהודה Date 10 June 2010 Source Own work Author deror_avi Wikimedia Commons

It’s another hot Sunday afternoon in South Florida.

I’m in Boca Raton dining at Dvash Mediterranean Fusion restuarant.

And as luck would have it, it’s my first time.

As I listen to the piped-in Israeli music, I study the menu.

It says, “The food here is made with love and is simply delicious.”

So I order a mimosa, a plate of lamb chops, and for dessert—warm halvah crepes topped with vanilla ice cream.

The grilled lamb chops come with garlic mash, grilled asparagus, mint pistachio dipping sauce.

And they are delicious and made with love.

And I am quite impressed.

The owner, Ilan Cohen, knows what he is doing in the kitchen.

The menu reads, “Ilan Cohen is a self-taught chef who began his career in Jerusalem.”

The menu continues, “Ilan and his wife, Lauren, have been serving authenic-Israeli cuisine to the South Florida community for more than a decade.”

I think, “Ilan and Lauren have earned their chops.”

But today, as I sit in this restaurant, I’m not thinking about wine or food.

So as I sip my mimosa, I think about the 14 that got away.

So as my teeth tear the meat off of the lamb chop bone, I think about the 14 that got away.

And as my spoon cuts into the melted vanilla ice and the halvah crepe, I think about the 14 that got away.

And I wonder, “Is being self-taught all it’s cracked up to be?”

About the Author
Florida's Jewish short-story writer, speaker, film producer and retired attorney. He has authored, "A Hebraic Obsession", "The Hanukkah Bunny" and "The Greatest Gift." He produced an award-winning short film entitled, "The Stairs". Movie can be viewed on my TOI blog. Mort is a correspondent for the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel Jewish Journal.
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