Business lunches are a great way to try high-end restaurants at a reduced price and are also a good opportunity for a working lunch. I have tried business lunches in a number of places in Tel Aviv, so I was excited to see how the lunch at Café 65 compared.
Café 65 is situated in the 65 Hotel, part of the Atlas Hotel chain, located at 65 Rothschild Boulevard. The café is in the hotel lobby, and there is a spacious patio overlooking the street. Although this is a busy area, sitting in the café was lovely and quiet, and the tables were spaced far enough apart to allow for private conversations.
As with many business lunches, the price of the main course included a starter and a soft drink. A colleague was my dining companion, and we have been to a number of business lunches in the area together. We both that the lunch at Café 65 was better value and higher quality than others we had tried recently. We appreciated that all the starters on the menu were included in the price of the lunch, unlike some places where they try to upsell you with starters that incur an extra cost. In addition to the eight main courses on the menu, there were three chef specials, which all sounded wonderful, but we both opted for dishes from the set menu.
Our meal began with a basket of thick slices of bread, served with creamy butter and fresh tomato and balsamic dip. I enjoyed the fresh lemonade that was included with the meal, while my companion had the homemade ice tea and a glass of house red wine (NIS 20).
To start we chose the 65 salad and the quinoa salad. The 65 salad comprised a beautifully presented bright green dish of asparagus, broccoli, peas and edamame, topped with roasted sliced almonds and pear. The quinoa salad was also light and refreshing, served with cranberries, walnuts, cashews and parsley, topped with wafer-thin slices of feta cheese, which added a lovely salty balance to the dish.
Although we were tempted by the pappardelle pasta (NIS 62) and the beet and cheese tortellini (NIS 65), we both ordered fish dishes on the recommendation of our very attentive waiter, Kobi. I had the sea bream fillet (NIS 88) which was served on homemade gnocchi with spinach, mushrooms and parsley foam. The dish was elegantly plated and well balanced. The portion included three small fillets of fish, which were very well cooked. It was a generous portion without being overly heavy. My companion chose the grilled salmon fillet (NIS 88), served with root vegetables and pureed potatoes. The salmon was perfectly cooked, with a slight sear on the outside and moist inside. The potatoes were rich and creamy, but we felt that the dish should have included more vegetables. The three small pieces of orange carrots and one spear of green asparagus seemed to be more decorative than part of the dish.
The dessert menu had a choice of four desserts (NIS 25). My companion chose the classic chocolate nemesis, which was smooth and indulgent. It was served with fresh whipped cream, meringue pieces and a few slices of strawberries. As the chocolate was so rich, she felt that it would have benefited from more acidity to balance the sweetness, such as a berry coulis. I opted for the crock pie, which was very similar to a British treacle tart but with an oatmeal pie base. The pie was served with sour cream, strawberry powder and a strawberry macaroon and was absolutely delicious.
Overall, we felt that Café 65 was a great option for a business lunch. The service was friendly and attentive, the setting was tranquil with lovely décor, and the food was classic with some interesting flavors.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
Cafe 65 (dairy restaurant)
65 Rothschild Blvd., Tel Aviv
Business lunch Sunday to Thursday, 1 p.m. to 4.pm.
Tel: (03) 767-7675