When I started this blog I planed on exploring home style italian cooking, mainly through the lans of pasta making, The idea of writing about a restaurant seems a bit odd, as the core if the idea was to take what is called the “casalinga” approach, things that real people make at home. On a Christmas trip to Israel I have been invited to a eat in a restaurant that made me change my mind about this. A small place in Tel-Aviv called La Repubblica di Ronimotti, that find a unique balance between fine and home cooking.
Before getting into more details, I’ll like to apologize in front of two dishes which certainly were worth mentioning here, but didn’t get a good enough picture, the first is the home made polenta with truffle oil which started the journey and the second is the Malfatti a spinach based pattie which was developed as a ‘mistake’ but made it to the top of the menu, served in a roasted pepper and cheese sauce, I guess I’ll have to go back to document these!
Right after the polenta we moved to this amazing Carpaccio plate served with Parmigiano and lightly roasted sage leafs a touch that reminded me this pizza I once had in florence, taking a very minimal approach where less then 5 ingredients define a whole dish.
Side to side to the Carpaccio we started understanding the reason what it was served next to what I may say the best clams I had in Israel, usually when people ask me about food in Israel, I’ll lastly recommend clams, or seafood, this was certainly an exception, what made it even more pleasurable and emphasized to me the thoughts and details behind this meal was the pizza bianca which we used to clean the clams sauce with.
While I appreciated the roasted garlic it was actually the salt that got my attention and the perfection of the dough, a kitchen insider told me that the secret lays somewhere in the fact that it has been waiting for us to for over 3 days.
Next we continued to these anchovies filets served with salsa and olive oil next to a shot of vodka, I first thought that we are about to leave the italian kitchen here for a moment, but to the instruction of the host to chuck the vodka right when the anchovy makes it way down to my belly I understood how brilliant this dish is.
Back to italian basics, Prosciutto alla mellona is certainly in season when in Israel even in late December, when I serve this at home I usually tend to have larger chunk of melon with the prosciutto piled on top of them, here they took a different approach mixing smaller slices inside the prosciutto, providing more fine surprise between the bites.
By this time you probably already forgot that you are in a pasta blog, so here is a reminded, Ravioli ai Quattro Formagg, mixed with four cheeses, basil, butter and fresh tomatoes from the restaurant farm, This gave me the understanding and a reminded for the original reason for our visit, a friend which raved about the fresh pasta of the place, which we are yet to taste, but this ravioli set the expectations very high for the next time. As ‘The pasta maker’ and while getting used to the standards of my New York provider raffettos I’m was excited to see a competitive home made dough.
Taking us back to Tuscany the Bistecca alla fiorentina, aged for almost 60 days, I normally eats Bistecca at one place in florence called Trattoria Sostanza, they only open for dinner and there is pretty much only one dish to order on the menu, the Bistecca at ronnimotti follow similar principals the aged factor was certainly unusual for me when it comes to bistteca, but what surprised me even more was the plate it was served on, which was larger from the cut, while in florence I got used to see a chunk that hangs off the plate, even if that means serving on a smaller plate, regardless the portion is always a challenge when it comes to a good bistecca.
To finish this amazing meal we received this trio dessert plate which included chocolate cake with mascarpone, traditional tiramisu and homemade grapefruit gelato, all were top stars desserts since we had hard time deciding which was the most amazing one, we had to have one last taste of Affogato
I highly recommend to any one who visits in Israel to check out this special spot, aside to the phenomenal approach to food and such a unique balance between find and home cooking, the wine pairing was something which deserve a post of its own, as well as the energy and vibe of the restaurant, not speaking of the hospitality of the chef and the team, leaving an experience which will stay with me for a long time. Thank you RonniMotti!