Last updated March 13th 2016
Bertie Restaurant, King George 88, Tel Aviv
Bertie Tel Aviv, is a lovely quaint restaurant offering some modern Mediterranean dishes with very classic old-European influences, housed in an Eastern-European tavern decor. The menu offers various options ranging from hearty and meaty courses, to light and creative seafood dishes.
This restaurant in Tel Aviv went thru a transformation about two years ago (2012), from a “modern, black-lacquered tabled, open kitchen view, chef restaurant” into a more down-to-Earth, traditional, wood-tabled, Eastern-European feel. The warm and inviting atmosphere is unpretentious, and the service is attentive and very friendly.
While Bertie Tel Aviv appears as a casual dining place, the restaurant’s pricing leans towards a high-end fine dining experience.
The menu is an interesting meld of Eastern-European home-style dishes with modern Mediterranean seafood and fish courses. The dishes are very filling, some of which shine brighter than others. The Sea Fish Tartar with Beet Root was a beautiful and fresh dish with an amazing texture and a lovely spicy overtone with the chili and cardamom oil. The Calamari, which was offered to us by the restaurant, was rich in both texture and flavour thanks to the combination of the softly grilled squid on top of hummus cream, accompanied with smoked eggplant and pickled lemon giving it a spicy and refreshing finish.
The Spicy Lamb in a Pita with goat yogurt was tasty with a bit of kick but heavy. The goat yogurt was a perfect way to cool your mouth as you dove into the dish, but overall with just a side salad, the entire dish seemed a bit pedestrian in presentation. The Octopus wrapped in Cabbage was a popular dish. It was heavily anticipated by the table, but seemed to offer mixed responses. The serving was a delicious combination of tangy cabbage and scrumptious, if not sensuous, octopus. It was, however, difficult to cut thru the tightly wrapped and chewy cabbage to enjoy the dish in full.
The main dishes at Bertie Tel Aviv are extremely filling. After both main seafood dishes and the lamb stuffed pastry, the thought of dessert was almost impossible. None of the desserts seemed all that enticing and worth venturing into the danger zone (that space between “I know there is room for dessert” and “oh dear god I’ve underestimated how tight my pants are.”) Even the highly recommended Malabi did not seem worth that cross over considering the high-prices. (Desserts ranged from 38-48NIS.)
Overall, Bertie Restaurant in Tel Aviv aims to please, though the place lacks a clear vision in the menu. Are they down-home Eastern European meat and potatoes, reminding visitors of their Babushka from the Old Country? Or are they offering hip, fresh Mediterranean seafood? It is a valiant attempt at a daring culinary marriage. Where else would you find cabbage wrapped octopus? The grated Beet Root was a worthy dish, and the calamari was definitely something to indulge in again. However and perhaps more importantly, Bertie’s food is inconsistent, lacking bold flavours and accompanying sides, especially when you consider the high prices.
Dishes at Bertie Restaurant
- Queens Park Swizzle drink 52NIS
- Queen Mary drink 48NIS
- Sviccha 38NIS
- Sea Fish Tartar 55NIS
- Calamari 88NIS*
- Spicy Lamb 85NIS
- Octopus wrapped w Cabbage 60NIS
- Bread 6NIS
Total = 344NIS (2 people, not including tip. *Calamari was on the house.)
Bertie Restaurant Rating
Fine Restaurants in Tel Aviv
Bertie Tel Aviv offers a nice change of pace from other restaurants out there. I would recommend stopping over, because the staff really take the service seriously and you will feel taken care of. Bertie, though, needs to elevate what’s on the plate to match their white-linen style service.
Bertie’s bar offers a extensive list of cocktails, but presentation did not justify the higher drink prices. While the Queen Mary with the camomile infused gin and oregano was delightful and pretty, it is 48NIS for a simple mixed drink. The Queen’s Park (they may need to diversify their names), a1920′s mojito styled drink with bitters has a lot of ice for 52NIS.
Appetizers like the Svichha – a puff pastry with minced meat and tamarind, sided with a whole egg was a uniquely Eastern-European dish that was both fun to share, and decently priced. The Sea Fish Tartar by Bertie takes the standard ceviche and offers a genuine twist by plating it with grated Beet Root, which make it such a treat to eat.
Main dishes like the Calamari represent Bertie’s potential. Even though the Octopus wrapped in cabbage is too interesting to pass up, it lacked that extra bit of flair. (Some side vegetable to balance out the dull coloured dish?)
Bertie Tel Aviv
With so many different options out there, Bertie gives you an opportunity to get away from the crowded main streets of Dizengoff and Ben Yehuda and sneak out to a hideaway spot on the quiet side of King George Street. Enjoy a relaxing and fun evening without ever really leaving the beloved beating heart that is Tel Aviv.