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Raphael, Tel Aviv

87 Hayarkon Street
Tel Aviv
Tel: 972 3 522 6464's insider take:

Tel Aviv native Raphael Cohen is the city's most celebrated chef, having first made his name at Jerusalem's King David Hotel before coming home and opening his own dining room overlooking the sea. Cohen, or Rafi as he's known, is a pioneer of what might be called mod-Med cuisine. He creates dishes based on Middle Eastern and Levantine traditions but lightens them up for modern tastes: sea bream roasted with olive oil, dried peppers, and eggplant caviar; veal cheek confit with black lentils and root vegetables. Come for lunch, especially on Saturday—the only time the chef serves his mezes—or for drinks in the evening at the Hamara Bar.

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