The flagship establishment of Chef Nir Tzuk’s miniature empire in Jaffa, chef restaurant Cordelia seeks to import the palette of classic French cuisine to the rejuvenated streets of Jaffa. The restaurant’s name harkens back to the daughter of King Lear, whose love and loyalty surpassed every obstacle Shakespeare had in store. Cordelia is truly a product of love- that of a person for his craft. Every element of the décor, including the utensils and dishes used, were chosen personally by the chef, mostly from countless visits to the world famous antiques bazaar a few minutes’ walk away. The dining hall, built in the 13th century, features high, vaulted ceilings and rough wall interiors. The resulting atmosphere is that of intimacy, bordering on solitude, and a stark break from the familiar and informal attitude of modern Jaffa. The tables, each with their unique candlesticks and cutlery, will offer the intimacy rivaled only by one’s own living room. The scene is ideal for a romantic date, as confirmed by the numerous accounts of marriage proposals witnessed by the host.
Though the fare is to be considered French, the local influence is quite prevalent in terms of ingredients and spices used. The fish are all locally caught by nearby fishermen, while the pastas and pastries are all made on location by the staff. The various cheeses listed originate in the Elah Valley of biblical lore, produced at Tzuk farm by the chef’s brother. Yet the culinary selections, along with the idiosyncratic décor, offer a brief escape when a respite from the Tel Aviv life is needed.