We have less than two weeks left in Tel Aviv and we expect to make the most of our short time. Monday, April 2 is the 3rd day of Passover, which as the week evolved, we finally figured out is mostly a vacation week rather than a religious holiday. A lot of small vendors are closed for the week and museums close early. We started our week by going to see the movie 7 Days in Entebbe which recounts Israel’s 1976 rescue of the passengers who had been hijacked on an Air France flight from Tel Aviv to Paris. It was an appropriate movie for us to watch while here in Israel. Tuesday we went to a museum only to find that it closed early because of the Holiday. We decided we would return the next day and all was not lost because our plan for the day also included a late lunch at a Restaurant that was recommended by the Israeli’s we met on our UN tour. Nanuchka is a vegan Georgian (Russian) restaurant. We chose dumplings with mushrooms and truffle puree with soy yogurt and artichoke croquettes. Very different and amazingly good.
On Wednesday we returned to the museum that was closed the day before which was Beit Ha’ir, Tel Aviv’s old town hall.
Entry was free due to Passover week. This building is now the museum of Tel Aviv’s History and was quite interesting for us as we have been immersed in it for three months. They also had a special exhibit of street art which was vibrant and alive.
We then visited the nearby house museum of the Hebrew National Poet Hayyim Nahman Bialik. The house was interesting but otherwise not much there for us. Thursday we walked to Jaffa for the last time with the express purpose of trying another recommended restaurant, Doctor Shakshuka, as shakshuka is Jim’s favorite breakfast. Much to our dismay, after sitting down and being served starters we remembered that we had stumbled into this outdoor eating space from another entry point months earlier and it was not good. Well we confirmed that we did not like this place by having a second subpar meal.
We have probably eaten at only three restaurants in this country that we would not recommend. The hike to Jaffa was not a bust as Sandy found a vintage clothing store which she loved, finding a a great Moschino jacket and Etro floral print blouse. She also found matching jewelry accessories made by a local Israeli artisan at the outdoor market.
On the walk home we stopped at Vicki Cristina Wine Bar & Tapas Kitchen for the second time having Margaritas and a cheese plate confirming that we really do like this place. Friday morning we took our last walk to the Port market only to find that on Friday, the 7th day of Passover nearly everything is closed and there is no market today. Our evening meal was cocktails and bar food from Double Standard about ½ block from our apartment. The hamburger sliders and cocktails were delicious.
Our last Shabbat here we did our first four mile run in a long time and went to the beach later in the day. It wasn’t quite warm enough for us to go in the water, but it was fun learning how to snag beach chairs and mixing with the locals. Jim is loving all of the string bikinis on the beach.
Saturday night we went to a local Thai restaurant, Nam. The place was fully booked which is quite rare here early in the evening. We sat at the bar and had cocktails and the most amazing Thai food that we have ever experienced. We just love curry and ordered green curry with chicken and red curry with crispy fish. The food was so aromatic and tasty. We just kept looking at each other and saying “wow”!
Sunday, Passover week is finally over and everything is back to normal. We head out on a walk to a different part of town and Jim stumbles across his type of clothing store, John Peter of London. Very small store, very good salesman.
Several outfits were bought. Two hours later we leave with some new clothes and another restaurant recommendation. We walk there for a late lunch. Messa is the only very fancy restaurant we have been to in Tel Aviv.
Not that expensive as we ordered the business special which most restaurants here have at lunch. Food and wine were exceptional.
Monday we take another four mile run along the river and down the beach. We decide that this will be our last run along the beach promenade as we are getting tired of it. Must be time to move on. One last thing to do on the beach. Jim has to stand on his head next to the art piece of David Ben Gurion standing on his head at the age of 71. Jim attempted this the first time by the piece and was unsuccessful but he has been working out and practicing and today is easily able to accomplish the feet in the air.
A local celebrity chef Eyal Shani is the reason that we came to Tel Aviv as he is responsible for Miznon, the Paris restaurant, which inspired our move here. We stumbled across another of his many restaurants North Abraxas a few days ago and that is our destination for Tuesday. A simple restaurant with paper table cloths and the food is served in either a paper bag or on a thin piece of cardboard. It doesn’t sound appetizing but they serve such simple fresh food in a very hip and funky atmosphere. We sat at the bar and had a roasted ear of corn, roasted eggplant with tahini, small hamburger and lamb kebobs. Delicious and very messy. Our second day in a row of only having one meal because it was so good and too large. We walk home reminiscing about our time here and deciding that three months has been just perfect. We haven’t seen everything, but we have had fun trying.