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DavidRhodes / wine / Italiana Nella Stazione: New Fine Dining in Tel Aviv
Italiana Nella Stazione: New Fine Dining in Tel Aviv
Italian food for many is comfort food when traveling overseas. Although trying local cuisines appeal to many tourists, many are easily discouraged and steer towards more familiar fare. Italian food is a staple for American diners and can be a safe bet for them dining out in Israel. Pasta aficionados will even find selections at many Israeli coffee shops but they will need to be more selective to experience a memorable meal.
One place sure to illicit interest and a return visit is the Italiana Nella Stazione (which also goes by Italkia Ba'Tachana... the Hebrew transliteration literally meaning "Italian in the station"). Specializing in Southern Italian Cuisine and Seafood, this new restaurant offers a lot of promise for tourists who want a delicious meal in a scenic local. The aforementioned station is a new development renovated from what was a historic railroad station and industrial park in Tel Aviv, a short walk south to Jaffa, the newly gentrified Neve Tzedik neighborhood and Tel Aviv's ritziest hotels along it's southern beachfront. Showcasing fashion boutique, custom jewelers art galleries and other destination tenants, the station is like a premium outdoor mall and well worth exploring. The restaurant is nestled right in the middle of the complex in what was presumed to be a converted residence. It's a rustic building that seems to date back to Tel Aviv's earliest days.
The food may resemble many traditional Southern Italian dishes but there's a modern twist on several. The highlights for many will be found amongst the well conceived selection of first courses/appetizers which include standard fare such as Caeser and capri salads or minestrone soup as well a spectacular chicken liver pate. The entrees include several pasta selections, steak for those who insist on getting meat where ever they dine but the restaurant takes great pride in its fresh seafood including an israeli specialty Sea Bream, a light white fish, served several ways. Five pizzas round out the menu which makes the restaurant more family friendly but the prices and ambiance lend itself more to dates and business meals. Business lunch specials which include a first course or dessert and choice of several entrees are very popular with the local regulars and are served until 6 PM which makes for a good early bird dinner choice as well.
An extensive wine list offers some of Israel's best reds and whites as well as some expected Italian selections. A 40 NIS (about $10) corkage per bottle is charged if you choose to bring your own wine (but remember the custom is to call ahead and make sure it's not on the list of what they carry). Traditional Italian desserts, speciality cocktails and a full bar round out the possibilities for a pleasurable afternoon or evening of fine Italian dining just meters away from the Mediterranean Ocean. The Southern Italian menu is the creation of well known Israeli Chef Amir Marcovitz.
Open for business 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Weekdays opening hours are from 9:00 AM till midnight. On Saturdays open at 10:00 AM. On weekdays the business menu lunch is served between noon to 6:00 PM. Parking is available adjacent to the Old Train Station . Italkia Ba'Tachana, Ha'Tachana , Call 03-5222664 for directions or reservations.
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David Rhodes worked at wineries in California & Israel, hosted over 100 wine parties.as a sommelier & adviser for the SDSU Business of Wine program. He speaks weekly about wine on Rustymikeradio.com & writes for ESRA magazine. Israeliwineguy@gmail.com