Written by on April 16, 2011 in I Eat Haifa, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

(No website found at time of publishing) – Sderot HaGa’aton, Nahariya

How I heard of this place: “For many Israelis, Nahariya means rest and recreation, a place where one can enjoy an active vacation amidst an atmosphere of serenity.” I first heard of Nahariya when my sister, Mojgan was serving at the Bahá’í World Centre in Haifa, Israel. Years later, the restaurants were brought back to my attention when a few new friends took me out for dinner after we visited Bahji. This second venture to Nahariya in just over a week gave me the opportunity to introduce the main street restaurants and cafes to my sister and her family.

Type of cuisine: Italian, served Israeli-style. Thin crust pizzas are found on the same menu with the full Italian meal, served with antipasti, primi and secondi as well as dolci to top off the meal. My dining companions and I opted to try a salad, pizza and one pasta dish, between the four of us. Eggplant bruschetta, chicken Caesar salads, teriyaki style salmon pasta and tiramisu are all found on the menu, among a plethora of beverages (coffee, fruit juices, soda and teas, not to mention alcohol for those so inclined).  

Ambiance: Modern setting, with floor-to-ceiling windows surrounding this corner restaurant, we were welcomed by friendly wait-staff, who gave us the opportunity to choose our preferred seating, either at tables and chairs throughout the establishment, or in one of the large booths towards the far wall, lined to the back. The bar, clearly marked by a change in tile color around the space where a graceful barquette and stools stood. Lights hung down from the ceiling, as did the serving glasses, while a mirrored background hosted shelves with an array of bottles. Our late lunch, at four o’clock in the afternoon, made for a calm setting, where only the booths were filled in addition to one table in the dining area. Our booths were large, and covered in black fabric, while the tables boasted laminate-lined wood and topped with two squares of logo-infused placemats, centered between the four (and-a-half) of us. Brightly lit interior, patio space exterior and beautifully sleek, we heard light rock music in the background, while the clanking of forks, knives and spoons could be heard where diners enjoyed their meals. A very family friendly establishment, our server brought two balloons and a small tub of crayons and a black and white picture of SpongeBob SquarePants for the older of my two nephews to color while awaiting our food.

What I ordered: We chose the Dream Salad (49NIS) to start, a heaping medley of tiny-diced cucumbers, tomatoes, red and yellow bell peppers and red onion served over a few green leaves of lettuce and finely chopped fresh mint, tossed in a lemon vinaigrette and topped with fried halumi cheese cubes. We chose the Pizza Pepperoni Chipola (52NIS), a thin, crispy crust with tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese, eight to ten slices of spicy pepperoni sausage, red onion rings and parsley. To round out the family style meal, we selected a pasta that included some form of animal protein: the Rigatoni Salmon Royal (55NIS), served with Asian flair as the large rounds of rigatoni, salmon cubes and green and red bell peppers were doused in a sauce of olive oil, soy sauce, peanut butter and walnuts. (My sister and I do not recall any walnuts actually being in the dish, so it may have been in the sauce, or forgotten.) My brother-in-law also ordered a Coca-Cola, a small bottle served with a glass, complete with lemon slice.

What I loved: My sister put it best when she said, on our way home, “I loved the salad, really liked the pizza and I enjoyed the pasta.” Her sentiments were seconded and thirded by the rest of us!  

Why I loved it: The atmosphere is cozy, easy, friendly and beautiful, set overlooking the large median above the river running through the main street of the city. The food was filling, the portions large and the salad – as with  most in Israel – stellar!

Cost: Average (40-60NIS per entree)

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