Monday, November 21, 2011

Israel: 1868, Locavore Menu in Jerusalem

Jerusalem is experiencing a revolution in the fine dining arena and particularly with locavore cuisine. According to the magazines and newspapers I read preparing for my trip, visionary chefs are offering incredible farm-to-table dishes.

Our first night, after what seemed like an eternity to get here, my mother and traveling companion and I arrived in Jerusalem from New York and ventured out to glamorous King David Street in the Mamilla area of West Jerusalem in search of a meal.
Lamb Kebab and Pickled Vegetables, 1868 (Photo: Lexi Van de Walle)
We wandered into 1868 Restaurant and were greeted with a warm welcome. And,  some very good food prepared by Chef Yankaleh Turgeman.  

1868 Restaurant Interior (Photo Courtesy of 1868 website)
1868's menu is "haute kosher" which is difficult to describe but my interpretation is a kind of Mediterranean and French fusion. The restaurant features many foods from Israel which, of course, is an incredible agricultural area. And, is housed in a circa 1868 stone house, the first outside of the walls of the Old City -- the dining room is attractively decorated and painted white.

1868 was on my short list of locavore eateries that I want to try so it was fun to head out to King David Street without a plan and just wander in. 1868 is an upscale jewel and must visit locavore restaurant if you're in the Holy City. 

We enjoyed a few autumn treats and Israelil wine before heading back to our hotel to sleep off the jet lag.

We started with an amuse bouche of salmon croquettes flavored with coriander and sumac, a basket of bread with smoked black pepper aioli, and a glass of Gamla Syrah, Golan Heights 2009.
Pumpkin Soup (Photo: Lexi Van de Walle)

Then came a velvety pumpkin soup, 

and, lamb kebabs with pickled endive, beet and carrot.

To cleanse our palettes, we had a melon, cucumber and rum sorbet followed by a hefty portion of a meaty lamb stew with a trace of barley and carrots.

The bill by New York standards was quite reasonable. And, we enjoyed the local wine from one of the most popular wineries, which of course is made from grapes, one of  the seven foods of Israel (grapes, olives, barley, wheat, dates, figs, pomegranates). 

A Locavore Menu in the Holy City
1868 Restaurant
10 King David Street
Mamilla/City Center

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