Two Meals, 30 Years Apart in Jerusalem

Life and Love Marked in Holy City Restaurant

Unchanging View: Decades after her honeymoon, Jane Eisner returned to this restaurant for a special dinner.
Courtesy of Touro Restaurant
Unchanging View: Decades after her honeymoon, Jane Eisner returned to this restaurant for a special dinner.

By Jane Eisner

Published July 24, 2013, issue of July 26, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 3 of 3)

The fancy restaurant where Mark and I had that memorable, if uncomfortable, meal shut down in 2000 and lay dormant until June 16 of this year, when it was reborn as the Touro Restaurant, part of the new Jerusalem Press Club.

The brainchild of Uri Dromi, who first thought of the idea back when he was a spokesman for the Rabin and Peres governments, the JPC is designed to provide journalists with a comfortable place to meet, work, drink and eat in a not-so subtle attempt to woo the foreign press from its usual hangout at the American Colony Hotel, in East Jerusalem.

The renovation is lovely, the rooms filled with old typewriters, sepia-colored photographs and other journalistic memorabilia. But Dromi is clearly most proud of the restaurant — kosher, meat and open to the public.

He recruited Itzik Ankonina, who owns 13 other restaurants in Israel, to run the operation, and convinced him to name it after Judah Touro, the Newport, R.I., businessman and philanthropist whose name is on the oldest synagogue in America and who gave Sir Moses Montefiore the money to build Mishkenot Sha’ananim, the first Jewish settlement outside the Old City.

By happy coincidence, Mark and I arrived in Jerusalem the week the press club opened, and after Dromi (a Forward contributing editor) gave me a tour, we knew we had to dine there.

A few days later we sat by the window, with its breathtaking view of the Old City bathed in evening light, and feasted on Chef Benny Ashkenazi’s inventive cuisine. Mark loved the hreimeh — mullet fish in a Moroccan sauce, with pepper, hummus, pumpkin and coriander. I adored the siniya — ground lamb with fried potatoes, pickled lemon, grilled tomatoes and parsley, topped with a delectable drizzle of tehina.

This time, we each had a glass of wine. This time, we started with a delicious endive salad accentuated with peanuts and almonds, and a plate of surprisingly light leek-and-potato fritters, made with mustard aioli and fresh spices.

This time, we felt as if we belonged. We had, you will notice, two appetizers.

Jane Eisner is the editor in chief of the Forward. Contact her at eisner@forward.com and follow her on twitter @jane_eisner


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "Despite the great pain and sadness surrounding a captured soldier, this should not shape the face of this particular conflict – not in making concessions and not in negotiations, not in sobering assessments of this operation’s achievements or the need to either retreat or move forward." Do you agree?
  • Why genocide is always wrong, period. And the fact that some are talking about it shows just how much damage the war in Gaza has already done.
  • Construction workers found a 75-year-old deli sign behind a closing Harlem bodega earlier this month. Should it be preserved?
  • "The painful irony in Israel’s current dilemma is that it has been here before." Read J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis of the conflict:
  • Law professor Dan Markel waited a shocking 19 minutes for an ambulance as he lay dying after being ambushed in his driveway. Read the stunning 911 transcript as neighbor pleaded for help.
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.