Let's talk

Deanna +972-(0)52-5375345 / Danya +972-(0)52-6006067
matkonation@gmail.com

Restaurant Review: The Salon-Eyal Shani

April 22, 2010 matkonation 30 Comments

I arrived at the “Salon” while on a work assignment from the “Washington Post”. Did I mention that was my first international assignment?! Full of motivation and hunger I arrived at the restaurant with Oded, my husband, without knowing what we were getting ourselves into. Yet as soon as the door opened, a large smile landed on both of our faces. This was not just another swanky, quiet place with Norah Jones buzzing in the background, but a live, loud, crowded, one man cooking show.

Once I went with Oded to a famous chef’s restaurant, and when we left the place Oded mentioned that there’s nothing like the Sabih (eggplant, tahini, and hardboiled egg in a pita-type of Israeli fast food). I was obviously upset by the fact that my husband could not appreciate creative, quality dining. I had told myself then that was the last time he’d come with me to that type of restaurant and at that moment also realized that I was in the market for a new food buddy. Now I realized that Oded and Eyal Shani actually think alike- there is nothing like Sabih or more like there is nothing like a 100 shekel (27 $US) pita sandwich!

The Salon is an exclusive restaurant only by a price based factor, because everything but the price is rugged, sensual, dirty and street-food inspired. The entire night we felt like it was shame that I was documenting the experience only by still frame; a video camera would have conveyed the experience – people singing at the top of their lungs, breaking plates and pounding on the table while Shani pounds the Carpaccio on the table-in a more meaningful way.

I know that most people in Israel think that Shani is a conceited weariless foodie, and personally I do not connect with his culinary philosophy, but I must say that he loves food, and respects its raw materials- and for me that’s a recipe for success. Last night, we sat on the bar and watched Shani tirelessly cook, cutting tomatoes, seasoning, laying out fish carpaccio, drizzling tomato sauce; all done with total concentration and the upmost seriousness. It was a spectacular, real-life, sensual, cooking show.

Once we sat down, we were served warm foccacia bread with a soft white cheese topped with tomato seeds and chili pepper- Shani’s favorite products. We opened a bottle of wine, and began to enjoy the experience. I love good bread at a restaurant, it gives you rose colored glasses for the rest of the meal. After a few minutes we were served the first course of grouper in a spicy tomato sauce (see the pattern?) which was delicious, and once the fish was gone, we were left with a great dipping sauce for our foccacia.

The two main courses that we ate arrived without plates. The first arrived on a gold colored cardboard and was called: (I took the menu home otherwise I would never have remembered) “Lesson for Tunisians: wide open potato, its flaming flesh dizzy with Aioli and crème fraiche, and olive oil preserved tuna resting inside. Hardboiled egg, eggplant, chili pepper and fresh tomatoes”. What a dish! So many flavors and so unpretentious. It was the complete opposite of pompous- everything was dripping, coming apart and falling straight onto our table. We literally licked our fingers. The next main course had the shortest name on the menu: “Lamb ragu in a pita”. We had to try one of the pita dishes, even if it was 30$ US!!! The dish arrived inside of a brown paper bag and inside we found a warm a la minute pita (we were sitting next to the oven) filled with lusciously tasty meat, literally inspired by a falafel stand, but price inspired by Catit (one of Israel’s most luxurious restaurants).  It was a good dish, packed with really good meat, tehini and chili. It was a bit heavy for us and so we decided to close shop on the main courses.

The fact that I was there as a photographer for the Washington Post didn’t make an impression on  Shani, who didn’t shower us with on the house goodies- maybe because Hugh Jackman was sitting next to us? And I am no competition for Hugh. At the end of the meal we received from our host a sampling of all of the desserts which included decadent chocolate mousse, scrumptious scones served with strawberry jam and sour cream, a pleasant (but nothing more) chocolate cake and a dried out banana cake. We ate about a quarter of what was given to us and then we said “cut”- inspired by our actor friend sitting next to us.

We finished the evening with many photos, a bit tipsy from the wine, happy and content. It’s been awhile since I had such a pleasurable restaurant experience!

To sum up- the restaurant is suitable first and foremost for those who are ready to spend a lot of money on food; it’s expensive, very expensive. It should also be taken into account that this is not the place for intimate conversations- this is a crowded, noisy place. On the other hand, there is so much energy in the air here, that I think it’s a great place to come with a significant other or another couple, to drink a lot, move with the music, and leave with the desire to continue to night elsewhere…Danya.

Here is a link to the Washington Post article I was on assignment for: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/01/AR2010040103382.html

30 comments to “Restaurant Review: The Salon-Eyal Shani”

  1. Alejandra says:

    This experience sounds (or rather, reads) so fantastic! I would love to visit a place like this. It seems wonderful.

    Thanks again for sharing your blog with me!

    Deanna: Thanks so much Alejandra- if you visit Israel, we’ll take you there!

  2. Glen says:

    So, he knows food, does he? Pity he never learned to eat with finesse. Anyone who has seen him on TV eating will be put off his restaurants for life

  3. fantastic post, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this sector don’t notice this. You must continue your writing. I’m confident, you’ve a huge readers’ base already!

  4. free ipad says:

    You really make it seem really easy together with your presentation however I find this subject to be actually something which I think I would by no means understand. It seems too sophisticated and really broad for me. I am looking ahead on your next post, I will attempt to get the cling of it!

  5. Very good blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m completely confused .. Any recommendations? Bless you!

  6. Just wish to say your article is as astonishing. The clearness for your publish is just great and i could assume you’re knowledgeable in this subject. Well together with your permission let me to take hold of your feed to stay up to date with impending post. Thanks 1,000,000 and please carry on the rewarding work.

  7. Attractive part of content. I just stumbled upon your web site and in accession capital to assert that I acquire in fact loved account your weblog posts. Any way I?ll be subscribing on your feeds and even I fulfillment you get admission to persistently quickly.

  8. Definitely, what a magnificent website and enlightening posts, I will bookmark your website.Have an awsome day!

  9. Hello, Neat post. There is a problem together with your web site in web explorer, may check this? IE nonetheless is the marketplace leader and a big element of other people will leave out your fantastic writing due to this problem.

  10. Angela says:

    Hi. That’s such a wonderful review. I totally wanna eat at this place when I’m in Tel Aviv in April. I’m wondering how I can make a reservation for a table? I don’t find any existent phone number or email. Would be great if you could help out. Angela

  11. matthew says:

    If you like reading a blog, what kind of interesting things that make you like that blog? Give me your favorite blog links too..

  12. Kristina says:

    It’s hard to find your articles in google. I found it on 13 spot, you should build quality backlinks
    , it will help you to rank to google top 10. I know how to help you, just search
    in google – k2 seo tips

  13. If or when your favorite game in your youth was creating clothes for your toys as well as creating creative changes in your very own apparel, then I think people such as you are absolutely those which are destined to become
    a fashion designer. You can correct and adjust
    the ready made design pattern at your will. You
    will be excited watching your kids in pastel tones especially when summer comes.

    my web blog :: stores like dress boutique 79e detail

  14. nose job nj says:

    You can go to their websites and look for
    a listing for the doctors you are considering. For example, you might be seeking rhinoplasty
    as way to achieve a functional goal. At $10,000
    it was exactly one tenth cheaper than the same surgery in the United States, which would
    have cost him $100,000.

    My web site … nose job nj

  15. As you move closer to compliment her on her tan, you notice that it is smeared in several
    places and is more of a festive orange than a sexy bronze.
    Oily lotion can hinder your sunless tan or make it runny.
    As the queen of nearly every beauty treatment you
    enjoy, you must be sure you have the proper supplies stocked
    regularly.

    Look into my web blog: chloe sims how to soak off how to take off gel

  16. It is an unfortunate irony that many “nutritional” products people take to improve their appearance have the side effect of causing them to go bald.
    They use a multi-therapeutic approach, trying to win the
    war on hair loss by using every possible angle. FUE leaves only small, circular scars that heal without the need for
    sutures.

    Visit my page; igrow nicki minaj before and after

  17. But how kimchi contemplate a good weight losing diet.
    These HCG products are available online if you can buy it from your nearby stress.

    However, dieting with the use of the oil from coconuts definitely works because it provides you with nutrition.

    Have a look at my weblog … acai berry diet

  18. You can really help most of your clients by helping them
    use financial statements as a basis for making better
    business decisions. They come to the picture even in divorce
    cases in order to establish compensation that is needed for child support or spouses.

    I decided to use their OIC service to lower my tax bill.

    My weblog – Boca Raton respironics CPA supplies

  19. Superbe post comme d’hab

    Ѕtop by my site gros godemiche

  20. Је pense qսe ce poste va aller sur mon blog perso

    Also ѵisit my page … http://www.dailysexe.Sx

  21. Fortunately for women, the lower back ages very well, so they should have no problems over the
    years with their tattoo. Since 10% of California’s budget goes to
    pay for its prison system, the idea is that
    AB 109 will free up billions in the state budget.
    Every bride wants to look their radiant best on their
    wedding day.

    my page – fake tan with spf

  22. x toons says:

    Ѵous rédigez toujourѕ des posts fascinants

    Feel free to surf tο my blߋg; x toons

  23. Ce post est ρlein de conseils

    Feel free to surf to myy blog; sexe très hard

  24. Hum êtes vouѕ certain de ce que vohs nous écrivez ??

    Feel free to visit mƴ homepage … suceuse mature

  25. Vos ɑrticles sont clairement plaisants

    Also vist my pagе … petites putes

  26. Une foiѕ ԁe plus un poste effectivement séduisant

    My blog: porno anonyme

  27. Fantastic goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you’re just too excellent. I actually like what you have acquired here, really like what you are stating and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still take care of to keep it wise. I cant wait to read much more from you. This is really a wonderful web site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Still Hungry? Here are blah blah

WWW.FOODIEGUIDE.CO.IL

Paris Luck

NYC Must-Eat: 5 Places Not to Miss

The Creation of the “Culinary Guide to Tel Aviv”