If Italians ate a real breakfast: La Repubblica di Ronimotti
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La Repubblica di Ronimotti's move from the northern Tel Aviv Ramat Hahayal neighborhood to the city center clearly did it nothing but good. Along with the name expansion came a tighter menu and better ingredients.
Breakfast here is very different than the now-standard Israeli model of tuna salad, chopped salad and tehina. If Italians ate a real breakfast, it would look like this.
The meal: "Boker di Repubblica." The idea is to sweep away all routine and banality in favor of morning-appropriate Italian nuances.
The meal begins with a basket of breads that includes brioche and poppy-seed cake; homemade jams; butter and olives; panzanella salad; herb salad; mozzarella, Emmental and cream cheeses; sausage; and pickled fish.
Served to the center of the table are a thick but light frittata with potatoes, zucchini and sweet peppers; a carafe of Lambrusco and a second beverage for each diner. All the pleasures of Italy, to start the weekend right.
Price: NIS 94 per couple.
Breakfast hours: Friday until 2 P.M., Saturday until 1 P.M.
La Repubblica di Ronimotti: 3 Mazeh St., Tel Aviv
The iconoclast: Delicatessen
It's only a matter of time before places like Delicatessen proliferate throughout the country, and not only because we think it's just what we needed: A high-quality delicatessen with excellent products combined with a restaurant that takes home cooking to the next level.
R2M Corporation, owner of Bakery, M&R Brasserie, Coffee Bar and Hotel Montefiore, is responsible for some of Tel Aviv's best breakfasts, as the Brasserie's long lines demonstrate, but it's the company's Delicatessen that offers breakfasts that break with tradition. Where else in Israel could you have oatmeal or a Nutella crepe for breakfast?
The meal: Boker Delicatessen. Breakfast here is really the showcase for the street-level delicatessen, and it's for anyone who wants to get out of the eggs-cheese-salad rut. You could order the standard Israeli breakfast, but why would you when there are so many other tempting options?
Boker Delicatessen starts with red grapefruit juice and arak and continues with an amazing fish platter: trout smoked on the premises, pickled herring in cream sauce and onions, ikra (taramasalata, fish roe dip). For the egg course, there is a wonderful egg salad, bursting with scallions.
Alongside is a platter of cheeses from some of Israel's best dairies, such as buche, Hameiri feta, Glilit from Jacobs Dairy and Corsica, a goat's-milk cheese from Barkanit. Oh, and jambon as well, just because. Of course Brasserie's famous bread basket is here, and goes very well with a coffee to wind things up.
Finally, a morning meal that combines arak, pickled and smoked fish and ham. What else could you possibly need?
Price: NIS 120 per couple
Breakfast hours: Daily from 7:30 A.M. to noon, Saturday until 1 P.M.
Delicatessen: 79-81 Yehuda Halevy St., Tel Aviv
No small matter: Petit Food Cafe
Petit is one of those cafes that cares for its customers as if it were a restaurant. Located in the quiet part of Yedidia Frankel Street, in Florentin, Petit's biggest plus is the boutique catering operating in the back. Why a plus? Because everything, the breads, cakes, pastries and all the rest, is made on the premises. Isn't Tel Aviv a great city?
The meal: Boker Bama'adania, otherwise known as a breakfast tasting menu for two. It came about because the kitchen had so much to offer it couldn't settle for just one.
The fare, some of which varies, includes beets with Saint Maure cheese, house-smoked mackerel, peppers stuffed with cheese, grilled artichoke with Parmesan, potatoes with herbs and feta, a large vegetable salad, a cheese plate, tuna salad and a beautiful bread basket with pretzels, poppy-seed and sunflower-seed bread, as well as, of course, your choice of eggs.
And now, a secret: On Fridays this breakfast is even more indulgent, and even more of a bargain, thanks to a variety of additional treats, all on the house.
The bottom line: The tastiest tastes we've ever tasted.
Price: NIS 95 per couple, including one beverage for each diner.
Breakfast hours: Sunday through Thursday 8 A.M. to 10 P.M., Friday 8 A.M. to 4 P.M.
Petit Café: 70 Yedidia Frankel St., Tel Aviv
This article was originally published in 2014 and updated