I thought what's a girl to do on Easter Sunday? OH! I'll go eat Israeli food with a bunch of Jews, perfect! Timna is a new(ish) restaurant on my favorite block in NYC, St Marks between 1st & Avenue A. The chef, Nir Mesika, is a native of Israel with Moroccan heritage. His menu draws beautiful influences from the Mediterranean, Middle East and North Africa.
The inside is comfortable and rustic. It's hip but not toooo hip - know what I mean? Forty five seats, some exposed brick, a bar, and some greenery. The space is crowded and lively in the most enjoyable way. The staff I have mixed feeling about. We had a very sweet server who was training an equally sweet new staff person. The person who dropped off our drinks, that’s another story. My friend asked if she would bring some milk for his coffee and I thought she was literally going to stab him until he wasn't breathing any longer. You know that look, like the flesh was about to melt off her face. It's fine, I wouldn't want to work the brunch shift on a Sunday morning either, girl. Been there, done that a lot, it’s rough.
This isn’t your run-of-the-mill Israeli place. If you want that, hang out down the block somewhere. This is Israeli fusion in the sense that it takes dishes that you've heard of before and creates something entirely new by combining unexpected ingredients. The little mezzes that came to the table were a delicious and flavorful start to the meal. The benedict & shakshuka were some of the best I've had. The benedict was served on thick buttery challah bread and drenched in paprika aioli. The shakshuka was deep & rich with a hint of tahini and perfectly pink skirt steak. The fresh corn polenta was like sweet liquid corn and I'd happily drink a bucket of it. Looking forward to coming back for dinner. Here’s what we had:
Selection of small plates, served with pita - beets, peppers, cucumbers, tahini
Alphabet city Benedict w/ challah, cured salmon, spinach, poached eggs, and patatas bravas
Timna burger with organic beef, grilled avocado, paprika aioli
Shakshuka with tomato & pepper stew, tahini, poached eggs, and skirt steak
Fresh corn polenta, mushroom ragout, haricot vert, grana padano & poached eggs
Address: 109 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009