I always enjoy a party! Who doesn’t? Most times I don’t really care what the celebration is about, it’s just a good opportunity to get together with some good quality people hoping for some good quality food! But the other night I had the perfect reason to go out celebrating Israel’s 70th Birthday, and I have Alenbi to thank. As soon as I heard about their pre-fixed menu I jumped to make reservations.
Albeni, located in the trendy part of Brooklyn, NY brings the neighborhood vibes in through the front door. I felt it the moment I walked in. I would recommend bringing your own wine since they do not have a liquor license yet. Our table enjoyed one of my favorites by Shiloh Winery.
Now to the menu. As we read through it, we were salivating from excitement to see the awaited presentation. As expected the friendly and responsive waiting staff served each course graciously. There was no sense of feeling rushed. We were able to enjoy each dish all while tasting the uniqueness of the fine details displayed. Like Executive Chef Balbul said, “I can’t imagine a dish without imagining the plating.” There are so many Middle Eastern spices and flavors under the radar that are highlighted in the open kitchen at Alenbi.
Some of my favorite dishes were the Raw Cured Salmon. Brushed with Coffee (never would have thought of that!), Salmon Caviar, Black Radish Ravioli, Scallions, Panko, Aiolli, Horseradish Cream and Parsley Oil… I mean WOW! What a combination!
The Beef and Duck dishes were prepared at a perfect medium rare.
Don’t be taken aback, but yes that is a head of cauliflower and it’s like NOTHING I’ve ever tasted. Prepared in a wood oven and seasoned with spices like Sumac and my favorite Zatar, the texture and flavors of the Arabic salads and Tahini combined gave me, as anticipated, a modern taste of Israeli cuisines.
The desserts were a perfect touch to end the meal. The Arctic Iced Cucumber, Basil, Melon and Pineapple was amazing. I loved how they paired it with Cotton Candy. Deep down we are all kids at heart!
Celebrating Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel’s Independence Day) together with two chefs who have more than an abundance of passion for the land I love, Yuda Schlass of Hassid+Hipster and Israeli chef Elior Balbul really do take modern and Mediterranean flavors to a level never seen before.
Israel has more to it than shawarma and pita sandwiches. It has art and I saw it that night. Happy 70th Birthday Israel!
887 Nostrand Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11225