Jerusalem has a number of restaurants scattered throughout the city that fit the ‘romantic’ category. That means they’re small; quiet with discreet service; have a to-die-for view or a secluded, exotic location and a menu that includes some luscious foods and heady wine that will have you gazing into each others eyes.
1. Darna qualifies on all counts. This authentic Moroccan restaurant in downtown Jerusalem is not tiny, but the alcoves covered with plush silk pillows and billowing fabric are as private as you can get in a public space. The fragrant tagines and delicate home-made couscous are delicious and you can linger over glasses of the sweet Moroccan tea that the waitstaff are expert at pouring from great heights.
2. Moise, a small intimate French kosher restaurant on Derekh Hevron in the Abu Tor neighborhood, is the place to go for a romantic anniversary dinner. Chef Chaim Davids will make sure your every whim is catered to, and the garden atmosphere will inspire your most romantic instincts.
3. Head to Angelica on the Shatz Street pedestrian mall in the center of town if you’re more comfortable with a slightly larger setting. The beautifully furnished interior and flavorful menu with every course based on seasonal offerings from the nearby Machane Yehuda market will enhance your romantic evening. A sophisticated wine list and knowledgeable servers make this restaurant a great romantic choice.
4. French fusion cuisine is on tap at Gabriel, where the fine linens and soft lighting help create a romantic ambiance. On a warm evening, the two of you can sit outside and watch the world go by on classy Ben Shetach Street, or in the winter, enjoy your evening under the Jerusalem stone arched walls. Every course is artfully presented and you won’t want to leave until you’ve finished every morsel of the delectable desserts.
5. It’s the unique service at Agas V’Tapuach (Pear and Apple) that qualifies this Italian restaurant as one of Jerusalem’s romantic destinations. Owner Gionatan Ottolenghi, who is not only a fine Italian chef but a professionally trained singer, will serenade you with arias while you dine on his home made pasta, hearty minestrone and brick-oven baked focaccia and pizza. The restaurant, set in the historic Safra Square buildings not far from the Old City, is cozy and bright. Be sure to sample the fine wine selection and leave room for the fabulous tiramisu and a real Italian espresso before heading out for a romantic stroll through the nearby plaza filled with palm trees and soft lights. Listen for the call of the muezzin and the pealing bells from the churches inside the Old City walls for a truly Jerusalem romantic experience.