We took a little trip to Jerusalem on Monday of Passover week. Folks who have visited the Israel Museum will recognize this horseman. Most of the Museum is closed off for renovations, but the Shrine of the Book, the replica of Solomon’s Temple and the Youth Wing, as well as part of the gardens, are available for visiting.
I don’t know who young Josh is, but he sure has style.
We went on to lunch at Tmol Shilshom, a charming restaurant set in a 130-year-old stone building. You take a walk down Nahalat Shiva in downtown Jerusalem…slip through a stone archway and emerge in a sunny courtyard that has an old well in the center. Veer to the left and climb up an outdoor staircase. You’ll arrive at the restaurant a little out of breath, but it’ll be worth the effort. The food is always delicious there, the service fine, and the atmosphere unique to Jerusalem.
Since its opening in 1994, the restaurant is celebrated for its literary gatherings and bookish atmosphere. I love browsing the bookshelves set into stone wall niches, and have ocasionally found a jewel, like a worn Haitian cookbook.
But the truth is, I like the menu and the cooking best. We had gnocchi with pesto
and codfish balls in a spicy tomato sauce, with mashed potatoes.
It looks like the writing on the rim of the plates is quotes from books – but I’m not familiar with them.
The food was just right, with portions not overwhelmingly large but enough to satisfy. And there was room for dessert – a luscious, light cheesecake
And three scoops of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.
Funny thing I noticed – maybe it was the atmosphere, but even the ice cream seemed special. We had eaten hand-made gelato that wasn’t as rich or flavorful, at a cafe in Yaffo.
I really appreciated was how good the food was, even on Passover. Not a simple thing to accomplish; most eateries aren’t all that good on Passover week. But at Tmol Shilshom, the standard stays high.
Descending the stairs again, I noticed a tiny, old-fashioned synagogue in the courtyard. I’d never noticed it before; maybe it was closed each time I’ve been in the area. The custodian let me wander around and take photos.
A view from the squished-in ladie’s section upstairs:
It must be lovely to sit in one of those window seats and take time for meditation and prayer.
We wound up the day at Kibbutz Tsora. I was hoping their excellent winery would be open so I could take a bottle or two home. I posted an entry mentioning the winery when I went on the Wine Trail. But it wasn’t to be. The winery, alas, was closed.
There was a Jewish Rock concert instead, set on grounds with an extensive view of the Judean Hills. I’m not a great fan of Jewish rock, but I must say that this time, it rocked. Everybody was on their feet, jumping and pumping to the Moshav Band as the sun went down and all the lights in the Judean Hills popped up behind the stage. I thought I’d be everybody’s grandmother there, but no, there were other middle-aged folk there, some of them boogying right along with the young ‘uns. Did I, also, boogy? Well….at one particularly raucous number I just had to loosen up and let a little steam off.
But don’t tell anybody.