israel, round tables
For its third year in a row, American Express presented Round Tables in Israel. This prestigious international culinary festival brings together the world’s best restaurants and their Israeli counterparts at restaurants in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. I got involved with the event through an innovative, visionary nonprofit organization by the name of Vibe Israel. Vibe's mission is to strengthen Israel’s brand in the world, especially among the Millennial generation. They work to spark new conversation about this part of the world primarily through social media exposure.
The festival returned November 2017, and its third edition featured 14 of the most interesting and acclaimed restaurants in the world, a record number of Michelin stars and innovative new cuisines for the local foodies. Each international restaurant sends its head chef & team to spend a whole week in the kitchen of a leading restaurant in Israel. Every hosting restaurant then serves a tasting menu featuring the signature dishes of the guest restaurant, seasoned with a pinch of local flavors and ingredients inspired by the Israeli chef.
The 14 restaurants who participated this year are at the forefront of the global culinary scene. They all share a clear, strong common ground: their cuisine is based on deeply rooted cultural context and relationships with the place they operate in, having tremendous respect for local ingredients. All of them, of course, also received acclaims from international critics and guides.
Among the dozens of restaurants and chefs from 11 countries – Spain, Switzerland, Ireland, Denmark, Belgium, Peru, Mexico, England, the USA, Italy and Scotland – 3 appear on the world’s most prestigious and influential World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, 6 hold 1 Michelin star, and 2 boast 2 Michelin stars.
The hosting restaurants that took on the challenge of learning and implementing the international menus are the top culinary establishments in Israel: Coffee Bar, Nithan Thai, Pastel, Chloelys, Quattro, Hotel Montefiore, the Blue Rooster, Ya Pan, Garrigue, Ciccheti, Jonathan Food Club, Thai at Har Sinai, Hayarkon 99 at the Dan Hotel (with a special kosher pop-up), and a first representative from Jerusalem – Mona.
Prominently resting on trendy Rothschild Boulevard is 65 Hotel, a stylish cylindrical building featuringmodern spacious rooms with an exemplary breakfast
Address: Rothschild Blvd 65, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
Charming Italian restaurant that has brought the flavors of Venetian tapas to the Tel Aviv. The restaurant serves small to medium sized dishes which diners can share across the table, and are inspired by various Italian cuisines: from Sicily and Sardinia in the south up to Piedmont in the north. Cicchetti’s menu is based on fresh seasonal ingredients that are changing daily: vegetables, pastries and cheeses, seafood and fish.
Address: פינת מזא"ה 58, תל-אביב יפו, IsraelYehuda ha-Levi St
One of Eyal Shani's newest restaurants. It is located in Bet Romano, right above TEDER.FM, Salon Romano is a great choice for a night out with friends. The menu changes constantly and it is always delicious, all of their dishes have the Eyal Shani signature on them – grilled, olive oil, fresh herbs.
Address: Derech Jaffa 9, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
Chef Victor Gloger's Chloelys Restaurant offers a modern gourmet menu that includes a combination of tastes from the classic French cuisine with a twist of Mediterranean & Israeli interpretation
Address: אבא הילל 16, Ramat Gan, 52506, Israel
Thai in Har Sainai
Trendy spot ideal for anyone looking for a fun night out that won’t break the bank. The atmosphere really makes this place unique. The drinks are excellent, providing a large range of creative cocktails. If you’ve got a The menu is comprised of relatively small dishes, perfect for sharing.
Address: Har Sinai St 1, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
Located in Jerusalem, Mona has been a culinary institution since its opening in 2000. The restaurant has a cozy atmosphere and is housed in a beautiful historic building. The menu is a mix of Mediterranean and European, with an emphasis on quality ingredients, fresh meat and fish from the Mahane Yehuda marketplace, seafood and fresh pasta for reasonable prices.
Address: Shmu'el ha-Nagid St 12, Jerusalem, Israel
Carmel Market (Shuk Ha'Carmel)
Bustling marketplace open daily, filled with produce, cheese, meats and restaurants sourcing their ingredients from the food stalls.
Tel Aviv Museum of Art
Beach town 20 minutes from downtown Charleston. Walk along the beachfront mansions in Isle of Palms or stop into the town for great casual dining.
Three-mile-long beachside boardwalk
This ancient city located just south of Tel Aviv can trace its roots back to the Bible
Israel's largest indoor culinary market which operates seven days a week
day trip to Caesarea
Port where amazing ancient harbor ruins, beautiful beaches, and impressive modern residences sit side by side. Check out Helena restaurant on the water
old tel aviv port
Wooden docks support cozy cafés, trendy shops, delectable restaurants, and seaside bars.
Area for avant-garde design stores, fashion boutiques and handicraft shops
day trip to masada & dead sea
Check out viator.com for some great trip options including guide & transportation