Noya Restaurant and Galil Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon

This week I am in Jerusalem and we visited a restaurant called Noya.  It is in the area of Jerusalem that is starting to look like downtown Chicago – always under construction.  Jerusalem is adding a new light rail system that will run from the City Center to the main bus station.  However, it is over budget, still in construction, and it is turning the center of town into a huge mess.  Jaffa street, is the main drag in the center of town and it has been turned into a one way street with basically only buses running in that lane.  The rest of the road is dug up and waiting for rails to be laid down – but from what I hear on the street, this will be going on for a couple of years still – what a mess.  The once proud road of Jaffa that goes through the city and ends at the Jaffa gate – is now in ruins.  The once bustling and litter strewn streets are now littered with closed shops and ditches that are untouched.  So now the center of town, where the entire buzz exists, is actually a few hundred feet after the construction zone (and more towards the old city) – called Shlomtzion Hamalka.  Along with the new mall that starts right after the Shlomtzion Hamalka district, and that runs all the way up to the old Jaffa gate, called Mamilla Mall.

Anyway, Noya is right on the corner of Shlomtzion Hamalka – on what Jaffa turns into right after the construction zone.  The restaurant has a nice ambiance and the service is competent and charming.  I wish I could say the same for the food.  We started off with two appetizers – the lamb platter and the Beef Carpaccio.  The lamb platter was OK, but underwhelming in flavor and slightly overcooked.  The Carpaccio was more pickling than beef.  The vinegar and lemon overpowered the dish, which is a shame, as the meat looked nice.  The theme of the restaurant seems to be lamb, as the menu for the entrees is dominated by lamb dishes and a few fowl dishes.  There was one beef dish; Entrecote, so we decided on the entrecote and the mixed lamb platter.  To pair the meat dishes we had a bottle of Galil Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 blend.  The wine was nice, but the lamb again was underwhelming.  The Entrecote was nice and cooked perfectly.  The salad that accompanied it was pretty to look at and to eat.  The lamb platter however, was again overcooked and lacking in punch or flavor.  Lamb dishes should allow the lamb to talk for itself.  The tangy and gamey flavors should mingle with the dish’s overall direction.  Unfortunately, our dishes were more listless than tangy and the overall dish lacked motif or even imagination.  Again, the entrecote, was delightful and well put together, I guess it was a bad day for the lamb dishes, and would try the restaurant again.

The wines notes follow below:

Galil Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 – Score: B+
The nose of this red and purple haloed wine has a pair of lives.  It starts with an inky Shiraz nose of cassis and sweet wood.  Later the nose changes to a cabernet nose of pencil shavings, sweet wood, cassis, cranberry, and raspberry.  The mouth of this full bodied wine is soft with Cabernet stylings – which make sense as the blend is 51% Shiraz and 49% Cabernet.  The mouth has cassis and raspberry.  The mid palate has eucalyptus, some acidity, and slight to integrated tannins.  The finish is medium long with more wood, nice tannins, and acidity.

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Posted on November 26, 2008, in Food and drink, Kosher Red Wine, Restaurant Review and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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