Pastelby Tallie Lieberman | 27.10.16
Remember, in the days of yore, when museum food meant Saran-wrapped mystery-meat sandwiches and toxic salads sold in obscure, dimly-lit cafeterias? Thankfully, this “cuisine” has gone the way of Cheez Balls, and today’s museum-goers may anticipate remarkable culinary experiences every bit as inspirational as the fine art hanging on the walls.
Pastel, located in the Herta and Paul Amir Building at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, numbers among the finest and the most dazzling (read Instagram-ready) museum eateries. Under Chef Hilel Tavakoli’s expert creative command, the angular, marbled Pastel, a spectacular seamless extension of the bright and edgy art museum perched above, not only meets the highest gourmet expectations – it reinvents them.
Chef Tavakoli’s artistic hand is evident in the playful experimentation with colors and flavors decorating every plate: in the vibrant tuna sashimi, which rests gingerly against a delicate bouquet of sliced apples, red chili and cucumbers and is embraced by a curry vinaigrette and adorned with toasted cashews; in the grilled calamari, supple and salty, served on a fuchsia bed of sweet, pickled cabbage, and in the fish tartare, coarsely chopped with tomatoes, chili peppers and chives, and dressed in a spicy chipotle aioli.
The dishes at Pastel and the cocktails no less – “Rush Hour” is an eye-popping magenta concoction of beet juice, Ketel 1, elder flower, lime and tonic – are indeed as striking as they are delectable, rendering this “museum cafeteria” a stimulating, memorable experience all its own. Read more about Pastel in the Telavivian city guide.
Photo Credit: Noam Nachon Meir