A legendary chef meets a legandary landmark at Roots Restauant. Acco.
Chef Uri Arnold, of the legendary Arnold's restaurants, has opened Roots Restaurant in the Acco Citadel.
Uri has partnered with two locals - a Moslem and a Christian, who both hail from Acco. The restaurant cuisine speaks to the culinary roots of all the partners. Co-existance is the operative word at Roots, where not just the partners are from diverse backgrounds but the diverse flavors themselves co-exist and combine for an easthetic and pleasing modern dining experience.
eLuna revisits Roots Restaurant
After nearly a year of shut down, we took ourselves out of our familiar, and we drove up to Acco for the day. We enjoyed the sites, the history, and a delicious dinner at Roots Restaurant.
Acco is less than a 2 hour drive from north Tel Aviv. We walked through the shuk to the newly renovated Ramchal shul and enjoyed a tour + 2 short films. We visited the excellent Knights Kingdom museum, well worth the visit. As much as we enjoyed the history, the highlight of the day was dinner at Roots Restaurant, adjacent to the Knights Kingdom museum. Could not have been better. Delicious food, generous portions, good service. Perfect. We shared an appletizer (below). Three of us had exceptional meat dishes, and I had the salmon. Perfect. If you remember Arnolds Restaurant in Nahariya, this is the sequel. Not to be missed. Roots honors eLuna coupons graciously.
Kosher Roots restaurant is located in the entrance of the Knights' halls inside the old citadel of Acre. The citadel made of stone with large arches, dates back to the 11th century, It has been lovingly restored and is now an amazing venue. The interior has been designed to match the structure with intimate lighting and long knights' tables.
Roots has already been recognized as one of the most beautiful restaurants in the country.
It would be worth coming to Roots just to see the architecture and the renovation. But this quality chef restaurant is a destination in itself. Roots is a meat restaurant and when it comes to meats, Uri Arnold is a master. The meat menu includes lamb dishes, veal, and a selection of meats.
As Acco is a coastal city with a thriving fishing industry, quality fresh fish is a must. Thus Chef Arnold has included many fish dishes in the meat menu. So in addition to exquisite meat cuts, the menu offers a fine selection of fish and vegetable dishes and raw materials straight from the market.
The main dishes are a mixture of cultures and include a beef and lamb dumpling cooked with hot tehina; The spare ribs of the sultan - served with Fryki. Chicken sufrito with young potatoes or lamb neck filled with rice, almonds and dried fruits.
Kube is served with non-dairy labane that you will be certain is the real thing. "Arsonim" are mini pitot filled with lamb and the traditional middle eastern makluba. There are filo dough pastries filled with vegetables and meat.
Uri has brought some of his signature desserts to Roots that you will remember from Arnolds. You will remember his hot baklava cigar with vanilla ice cream and his signature halva parfait topped with strands of halva and pecan chips. With a nod to the Arab table, there is malabi in pomegranate syrup with candied coconut chips .
A bit of history:
The Crusader Citadel in Acco was built by the "Hospitallers" Knights in the beginning of the 12th Century.
Threatened by Saladin, the Crusaders ruled their small Kingdom from the Acre Citadel which was their last stronghold in the Holy Land. The city's port enabled them to keep the vital supply line to Europe.
The crusaders have come and gone, along with Saladin and a host of other conquerors. In modern times the British used The Citadel as a prison, and they too have gone.
And now, in the 21st Century, the knight's hall of the citadel has been renovated and turned into a restaurant. (And they shall beat their swords into forks and knives)
Renovating an 11th Century building and turning it into a modern restaurant was a challenge. As the building is a heritage site, all renovations had to meet strict standards of reconstruction. Hundreds of years of plaster were peeled away to get down to the foundations. The result is this impressive, authentic structure that creates the special atmosphere of the restaurant.
The restaurant can seat 60 guests inside and more outside.
From the menu: Grilled eggplant baladi topped with veal (NIS 38). Sea fish ceviche (NIS 48) Veal carpacio (NIS 56). Individual Makluba (NIS 72) Tornado Rossini (NIS 168). spare ribs of the sultan - served with Fryki (NIS 98) Chicken sufrito with young potatoes or lamb neck filled with rice, almonds and dried fruits (NIS 68) Dessert NIS 28
Getting There and Parking: Roots Restaurant is in the campus of the Knights Kingdom, a fascinating crusader museum that you should not miss. Set Wase to the restaurant or to the Knights Kingdom museum. We parked in the municipal lot across the street, near the Anna Hostle. 20 shekels for the day.