Tucked away within the Suzanne Dellal Centre for Dance and Theatre, Bellini stands out as one of the city’s longest-standing restaurants. Exuding a rustic, Tuscan atmosphere through both menu and décor, the restaurant offers a temporary escape from the Levantine madness.
Before any importer in Israel dealt with Italian cheeses and meats, Bellini’s owners and head chef were transporting the vaunted delicacies in their luggage and carry-ons.
Various regional influences can be seen, including the Genovese Gnocchi in creamy truffle sauce, but it’s Tuscany that stars throughout the menu. This, of course, is the result of a heady love affair between restaurant owners and the region – sparked during their first visit across the Mediterranean. An impression that continues to shine way beyond the menu – heavy timber beams, an open kitchen and chequered-cloth tables set its own pastoral mode.
Thankfully, there’s no longer a need for carry-on jaunts, yet Bellini still claims a stake in the forefront of Italian cuisine in Israel. Chef Amir Shuler’s claim at having the best tiramisu in town is especially worth challenging. Lastly, don’t leave without the house specialty – a traditional grappa ceremony hosted by one of the restaurant’s charming waitresses.