• Home
  • keyboard_arrow_right Food & Recipes
  • keyboard_arrow_right Italy meets Jerusalem in center-town restaurant

Food & Recipes

Italy meets Jerusalem in center-town restaurant

SC 28/10/2021

share close
I had heard that Palomino Italian Lounge, which is located on King George Street in downtown Jerusalem, serves delectable dishes and cool cocktails, but it exceeded my expectations. I could actually hear myself saying “Wow!” after every dish. And if you don’t believe me, try it yourself!
My partner and I were welcomed at the door and seated at a comfortable table near the attractive bar, behind which is a neon sign that reads, “Leave the gun, take the cannoli.” It was good advice. As you walk into Palomino, remember that line from The Godfather – leave your troubles outside, and leave enough space inside for dessert!
From our table, we could see into the kitchen, and what was clear from the outset was that the chefs – led by Shlomi Ben-Shalom, who brought out the menu – know a thing or two about Italian food. Actually, what Palomino does is offer a fantastic fusion of Italian and Jerusalem flavors.
It is an upscale Mediterranean tapas bar and restaurant opened recently by four Jerusalem friends – brothers Alon and Kobi Ravia (whose grandfather Yaakov Ravia worked at The Jerusalem Post in its early years), Meir Chen and Tamir Obergot.
While the restaurant has more than 60 varieties of wine, we liked the look of the Flamingo cocktail (Beefeater Gin and Aperol with lychee, ginger and cucumber, NIS 48) – and we were not disappointed!

 THE FOOD is a fantastic fusion of tastes from Jerusalem and southern Italy. (credit: David Moyal) THE FOOD is a fantastic fusion of tastes from Jerusalem and southern Italy. (credit: David Moyal)

We were served some of the restaurant’s specialties chosen by the maî​tre d’ – and it just got better and better. My favorite was the Camembert Brûlée: the cheese is glazed like crème brûlée and served on a bed of green leaves and walnuts with a spectacular sauce, for NIS 42.
But you should also try the Burrata Condimenti, which is mozzarella filled with fresh cream (yes, it’s rich but refreshing) served with fresh tomatoes, crostini and a superb salsa.
As you move from “Freddo” to “Crudo,” “Caldo e Fritti,” “Pasta e Risotto” and “Pizzaiulo,” there are two dishes you really must order – Casa Bia Tortellini (fresh pasta flowers filled with Jerusalem artichoke cream in a spectacular sauce consisting of olive oil and white wine, purple onions, olives and spinach with slices of Parmesan for NIS 62) and the Saffron (Zafran) Soufflé (deep-fried Risotto balls on a bed of piquant tomato salsa and Parmesan for NIS 52). A double wow!
If you like fish, you might sample the Crudo Seafood in a limonana (lemon and mint) and chili sauce (NIS 52) and the Tuna Tataki – slices of lightly seared red tuna with lemon and tomato salsa and sheep yogurt with Parmesan (NIS 58). But we really enjoyed the Sea Bass Al Cartoccio, where the fish is baked in parchment paper together with potatoes and a variety of garden vegetables (NIS 83).
We also tried one of the restaurant’s Sicilian-style smoked pizzas with fresh tomatoes, smoked mozzarella, sweet potato, beet, honey and parsley (NIS 48), and they also serve a delicious focaccia with pesto, tomato paste in za’atar oil and balsamic vinegar with hot peppers and garlic cloves (NIS 29).
We left just enough room for two classic Italian desserts – panna cotta and cannoli. I strongly recommend you do the same! And we ended off a perfect meal with Kahlúa Espresso Martini.
Palomino also offers outside catering as well as payment for parking at nearby lots.
AFTER TRAVELING to Italy numerous times, the four young partners decided to follow their mutual dream and open Palomino.
“We always loved Italian cuisine,” says Alon Ravia. “We investigated and studied and tasted at every opportunity.
“Then, two years ago, we agreed to take this love one step further and went on a crazy culinary road trip – all four of us, in a car, through villages and towns in picturesque southern Italy.
“When we were there, we were able to not only taste but meet the people behind the tastes, and we understood that the connection between Italy and Jerusalem is a natural one. The unsophisticated simplicity, the use of the here and now, and the need for love and closeness through food. That’s us!
“We four childhood friends left with a dream in a suitcase and returned with a real plan for the opening of Palomino.”
Asked how they came up with the name, Alon says, “It’s a kind of horse. But we just liked the sound of it. It rolls off your tongue.”
My taste buds still water at the thought of Palomino’s cuisine. We can’t hand out Michelin stars, but we can give it five wows! While we also can’t offer you a trip to Italy for a genuine Italian meal, this is about as good as it gets – and the cherry on the top is that it’s in the heart of Jerusalem!
Kashrut by Tzohar
41 King George Avenue, Jerusalem
Open 5 p.m.-midnight, Friday 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday open one hour after Shabbat until midnight.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.


Rate it


Co-Host for Coffee Mouth Scarecrow Show. Retired NAVY Chief/Flag Writer Psalms 118:24 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

list Archive

Previous post

Post comments

This post currently has no comments.

Leave a reply