Mesilat Yesharim begins at the corner of Bezalel, situated in Kikar Hamedina,
the very center of Jerusalem, one block from the Mashbir Department Store
on King George Street, and one block from the Behar Center. Despite being
located in the busiest area of the city, the restaurant is so well insulated
that it is very quiet inside.
This well renown restaurant
is Jerusalem's oldest fish restaurant, established 33 years ago by Benny
Rosenzweig, a third generation Jerusalemite, whose father and grandfather
were already prominent in the fish business. Benny also owns several
large fish stores in Mahane Yehuda.
The restaurant was totally
renovated and refurbished in the summer of 2001. Its decor is nautical,
featuring a display of old sailing ships, a beautiful aquarium with
different kinds of attractive fish, and walls decorated with many memorabilia
and artwork of bygone days of the sea and sailing.
There are attractive chandeliers,
and the atmosphere is informal, intimate and very friendly. Upon entering
you are greeted by Eli, who has been headwaiter at Benny's Fish Restaurant
for 27 years. He knows most of the regular customers personally, and
he gives his total attention to make you feel comfortable and to serve
you with his smile and careful attention.
There are many appetizers,
consisting of 9 different kinds of salads, plus humus, eggplant with
yogurt, and many other delicacies. The pita served is a specialty, especially
the ones toasted with a bit of oil and crunchy.
Soup, although not a specialty
here, is always available, with at least two choices.
The main course consists,
of course, of fish and the variety is endless. St. Peter's, Dover Sole,
Trout, Grouper, Curry, Mullet and drum fish plus "kosher shrimp" are
each served and prepared in many alternative ways: both fillet and whole,
with all types of sauces, to suit every kind of taste. All fish is brought
in fresh daily, and prepared most deliciously and individually for each
diner. Each main course is accompanied by either baked potato or french
fries, plus Israeli salad.
Before dessert, each guest
receives a Freshette - a little wet napkin to clean the hands. The dessert
choices are Bavarian cream, Caramel Cream, Chocolate mousse or fresh
Coffee or tea ends a satisfying
and beautiful evening at Benny's.
Despite the upscale quality
of the food, the prices are reasonable. Main courses vary from NIS 60
to 80; soups, appetizers and desserts are mostly NIS 12 each.
The best bargain is the business
lunch, served from Noon to 5:00PM, when for NIS 60 - 70 you get a complete
meal consisting of a main course with french fries and salad, plus a
glass of lemonade. (Sorry. The eLuna discount coupon does not apply
to the business lunch.)
The best way to judge Benny's
Fish Restaurant is by the fact that a majority of its many customers
have been coming back again and again for many years.