Tel Aviv Bar & Restaurant /
Бар & Ресторан «Тель Авив»
+7 (495) 694-01-45 (delivery available)
Цветной Бульвар 30/1 (closest metro: Цветной Бульвар)
Sunday through Thursday: 12:00 to 0:00; Friday: 12:00 to two-and-a-half hours before Shabbos; Saturday: two-and-a-half hours after Shabbos to 0:00 (winter only)
meals starting from $8
meat; under the supervision of the Chief Rabbinate of Russia (R’ Berel Lazar)
“An Israeli bar in Moscow?” asked my friend Trevor in surprise. I had just been describing the variety of kosher restaurants available in this city. I was going to investigate it anyway, but I wanted someone to join me. “Sure, I’ll try it. I’ll try anything like that once.”
Upon reaching the top of the stairs in an unpretentious building set back from Цветной Бульвар, one encounters a curious fusion of Russian and Israeli cultures. The furniture and lighting are typically Russian, while the background music and television news are all in Hebrew. Israeli artwork and bookshelves with Jewish volumes line the walls. One has several options for seating: booths, couches or chairs around tables, places at the bar. I would recommend sitting near the stage on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights, as there is live music after 9:00 PM; two hours later on Thursdays, it turns into a party, whatever that means. I ended up going to Tel Aviv a second time, after my Shabbos host told me that his brother-in-law, a violinist, would be playing the Tuesday after my first visit.
Both times that I have eaten at Tel Aviv I have enjoyed my meal. When I went with Trevor, I had a tabuleh salad (310 rubles), lamb манты (480), and a pita (80). The salad was tasty, though perhaps overvalued for the quantity served. The манты were very savory; I took my time eating them. The pita was soft, warm, and flavorful. Trevor ordered a шаурма (480), which he seemed to enjoy. We also got some drinks, including the Spaten lager on draft (220 for 300 mL). When I went by myself, I had shakshuka (poached eggs in a tomato and chili sauce; 280), lamb пельмени (290), a pita, and a Beck’s non-alcoholic beer (180 for 330 mL). The shakshuka, which came in a cast-iron skillet, was very tasty; the eggs were cooked well, and the sauce was both sweet and spicy. The пельмени, served in broth, were pleasantly chewy, with the same delicious lamb that I had had before my manty. Although I was ordering the less expensive dishes on the menu, I felt full and satisfied with my selection.
The service at Tel Aviv was fine. I never felt like I was being “Soviet serviced,” as the waitstaff was friendly and brought the food a reasonable time. When I went without Trevor, my waitress was kind enough to photograph me with my meal, not stopping until she thought the picture was good enough. If one can speak enough Russian to fare in a restaurant, there should be no communication issues. One should not be afraid to talk with the musicians. I overcame my anxiety and told one of them that I liked the music and that his brother-in-law recommended I come to hear him; he complemented me on my Russian and gave me one of his recordings. I wish Trevor had been there for that, but with great food and a lively ambiance I definitely see myself returning to Tel Aviv, hopefully with company.
For groups and faculty-led tours, Tel Aviv can provide a distinctive cultural experience with comfortable accommodations. This restaurant, being kosher and located in central Moscow, may be a stretch for some students’ budgets, though one should note that lunch prices, available until 5:00 PM, are 30% off of listed dinner prices.