Friday 12 April 2013

Belle & Antoine, Ben Yehuda, Tel Aviv, Israel‎

An appealing cafe-bar on a fairly busy junction in the heart of Tel Aviv, Belle & Antoine is housed in a distinctive red building with an outside terrace enclosed by a row of pot plants. The menu is fairly simple, but the food is fresh and competently-prepared. For a starter, the sardines and parmesan bruschetta is a good bet, but there isn't quite as much flavour as you might expect. For a main course, the very creamy gnocchi is excellent - if you are hungry, be sure to order some bread to mop up the sauce. But many of Belle & Antoine's punters seem more interested in the wine than the food - the bar keeps a decent selection from Israeli vineyards. And they seem to be consistently good, unlike some of those served in the more grungy parts of Tel Aviv. If you prefer hops to grapes, you can order a strong Paulaner wheat beer in a 330ml bottle. And if your party spends enough, one of the statuesque waitresses, which look like moonlighting models, may bring you a complimentary shot glass of limoncello each. 7/10