"We have been to many restaurants. Some are better than others, but the one that never disappoints us is Al Dente."
From an eLuna subscriber.
eLuna had the pleasure of revisiting Al Dente Restaurant in the summer, 2016. The restaurant has undergone many changes since our last visit but we are pleased to report that this restaurant only improves with time and experience. Al Dente is a find. 5-stars for Al Dente Italian Restaurant.
Al Dente Italian Kosher Restaurant
Al Dente is a quaint and charming neighborhood restaurant in Rehavi. This is a restaurant that does not sleep. Always improving, always thinking of new things, and as if it was possible, always getting better.
In 2016 Chef Assi joined the Al Dente team. Assi comes to the restaurant with a wealth of experience at some of the best restaurants in Israel. Assi has expanded the restaurant's fish menu, which is now more varied and now includes fish carpaccio, and other cured fish dishes. Chef Assi has applied his creativity to the pasta dishes, incorporating chestnuts, truffles and other unique ingredients. I didn't think that the food at Al Dente could get tastier, but with Assi in the kitchen, it has.
eLuna Revisited Al Dente
Al Dente is a quaint and intimate restaurant. This is one of the few neighborhood restaurants that draws clients from many different parts of Jerusalem. We are charmed by the homey atmosphere of this restaurant, and the funky hand made porcelain plates and cups in pleasant earth tones.
When we arrived at the restaurant before 7pm we had our choice of seats.
The situation changed very quickly and within an hour or so the restaurant was packed and people were waiting outside. Reservations are recommended.
Find me something that is not delicious at Al Dente. You pretty much cannot go wrong, no matter what you choose on the menu. We started with the antipasti topped with cheese balls and Arancini, risotto balls filled with cheese on tomato puree. Risotto is one of Chef Assi's signature dishes, and we know why. This was a very successful and memorable dish. As usual, I enjoyed the antipasti dotted with cheese balls. They may look like mozzarella pearls but they are goat cheese balls, a delicious and healthier substitute. The warm vegetables melted the cheese balls just enough to blend nicely with the vegetables. We also had a tasting of the tomato soup. The creative use of herbs for flavoring can only be found in a soup made from scratch by a true chef. Recommended.
The starters were served with the Al Dente outstanding focaccia. Every restaurant has its special focaccia. The Al Dente version is a large round flat bread, somewhat reminiscent of pizza dough without the toppings. We tore off pieces of this focaccia, enjoyed it with the dips, and munched on it throughout the meal. Wow.
Ooops we were discovered.
A charming English speaking couple sitting behind us figured out that we were from eLuna. (I don't know how that happened.)
I knew them by name because they are active eLuna members, taking coupons and going to restaurants throughout Jerusalem. Al Dente, they told us, is one of their favorites. So it is not just me, eh. This restaurant certainly does have a following.
One of their favorites, they told us, is the Tortellini with mushrooms and truffles with almonds and cream. Taking their lead, we chose this dish as one of our mains, and the recommended sea bass as the other. The Tortellini had a wonderful earthy flavor due to the truffles and mushrooms, and the cream sauce was wonderfully sinful.
The fish was served on a base of green wheat with onions, shallots, and Jerusalem artichokes. This was a very full meal with absolutely no room for dessert. I know that it is against the rules to dine in an outstanding dairy restaurant and not have dessert. We had to pass this time, but we will be back for their classics: Mascarpone Cheesecake and Tiramisu.
Other outstanding dishes include the Al Dente salads: green salad, and green wheat salad.
From the Al Dente menu: Antipasti NIS 46, Focaccia NIS 34. Aroncini NIS 44. Green salad NIS 49, Green Wheat Salad NIS 56, Sea Bream NIS 115, Salmon Fillet NIS 119. Sea Bas NIS 109. Desserts NIS 34
Getting There: Al Dente is a neighborhood restaurant tucked between Nachlaot and Rechavia. The restaurant is on on a branch off Usishkin Street.
Parking: Pay parking lot at the corner of Usishkin and Yitzhak Kariv.
One more time from one of our members:
"Al Dente is always busy so it is best to have a reservation. There have been times that we did not have a reservation and we had to wait, even 20 minutes for a table, but it was worth it."