Walk through the gate of the renovated railway station in Jerusalem and you’ll see the Adom restaurant located on the left. It is both elegant and simple in design, showing its owners long history with restaurants in Jerusalem.
Image Barry A Kaplan, Jerusalem
Assaf Rizi, Noam Rizzi and Moti David are partners in Adom which moved here recently from Feingold Court (the path off Jaffa Road leading into the Nachlat Shiva neighborhood). Adom (meaning red in Hebrew) opened there in 2001, so called because the walls were a red color as were many of the wines they served.
In addition to Adom, the partners also own the Colony, in the valley off Hebron Road, just a short distance away from Adom’s new location; Lavan (Hebrew for white) at the Cinematique; Khanele at the entrance to the Khan Theatre (almost across the street from The First Station) and Khan Catering.
For many years, Assaf tells us, they had wanted to open a restaurant in the train station, but it did not become possible until the municipality decided to renovate the whole building. After six months of making it ready, Adom opened recently, along with the other restaurants, boutiques and shops of the complex.
Image Barry A Kaplan, Jerusalem
The bar and restaurant are two long parallel rooms. Wine boxes decorate one wall of the bar room; chandeliers above the bar are made from decorated glass plates, on which some of the dishes are served. Opposite are camel and black leather padded booths. Booths and bar stools seat about 50. Wood beams are visible on the ceilings of both rooms.
A glass and wood wall divides the bar from the L-shaped restaurant which seats 44 – either at black wood tables with white table runners, or along one wall, which has burgundy leather seats. Panels of stone from the original building decorate the wall along the seats.
Long-cooked osso buco on mashed whipped potatoes with green beans. Barry A Kaplan, Jerusalem
At the back of the restaurant is a refrigerated wall holding their large selection of wines. At the end of the L is the open kitchen and opposite the kitchen is a glassed-in private room for 14. All of the stone panels and a stone column in the back had to be preserved, as is, from the original train station building.
The menu offers 12 starters (42-56 NIS); 4 salads (46-52 NIS); 8 pasta dishes (62-86 NIS); and 14 main courses (62-128 NIS). The wine menu is a real book with 9 sections including wine of the month, white wines, Israel wines, boutique wines, dessert wines and champagne; and wines from France, Spain, the U.S., Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand. A dessert menu lists 8 home-made desserts; dessert wines, cognac and grappa, port and sherry.
Adom’s veal brain stew looking like shakshouka. Image: Barry A Kaplan, Jerusalem
Firstly, Chef Buzaglo sent us the Drum fish sashimi (56 NIS) wrapped around a marinated artichoke hearts with its stem on sliced pickled beet root with a creamy vinaigrette–for a beet and artichoke lover, this was elegant.
Next was the endive rocket leaves salad (48 NIS) – sometimes called arugula – with sliced pears and apples, caramelized pecans and blue cheese and a very light dressing. The blue cheese was obvious but subtle and not overpowering. We also received the house bread with a mayonnaise-based aioli dressing.
The piece de resistance was the entrée of long-cooked osso buco (102 NIS), an Italian specialty usually made with veal shanks but here it was made with melt-in-your-mouth lamb. It was served on whipped mashed potatoes with green beans on the side.
Chef Meir’s special was next – Adom’s veal brain stew I(84 NIS) in a copper skillet with stewed tomatoes (my companion’s favorite), red sweet peppers and chick peas. Little fried dough balls were the garnish and the yolk of an egg was in the center. Yes, it was a meat dish resembling the Tunisian poached egg in a tomato sauce dish, shakshuka. It was garnished with the Moroccan condiment, harissa, which was just a little bit spicy. It was a very special dish with the Mediterranean twist though light tasting.
Tahini ice cream balls and sesame candy (left); vanilla, chocolate and coffee crème brulee. Image Barry A Kaplan, Jerusalem
Wanting a dessert that was not too heavy, I chose the crème brulee (36 NIS) which is a classic and here is served in a three-part glass dish with very creamy tastes of the classic vanilla, chocolate and coffee flavors. My companion was more adventurous and tried the tahini ice cream balls (38 NIS) with date honey, sesame candy and garnished with – micro beet leaves. He couldn’t believe how much he really liked it.
All in all, Adom offered a truly elegant, gourmet evening of tasting in a warm setting whose design captures the nostalgia of the old railway station yet contributes an original tone.
The author and photographer were the guests of the restaurant.