Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Israel's Oldest Luxury Restaurant Celebrates 85th Anniversary

Transformation of King David's "La Regence" 
Aligns with Country's Culinary Revolution

Foodies on six continents are lauding Israel's ongoing culinary revolution that in recent years has taken not only Israel, but London and several U.S. cities, by storm. Chefs, restaurant critics and food writers from around the world are zeroing in on a slew of extraordinary restaurants not only in Tel Aviv, but also in Jerusalem, Haifa, Eilat and in the Israeli countryside. 

But while it's the latest wave of cuisine development that has taken dining in Israel to a whole new plane, it's worth remembering that the country's first luxury restaurant is still going strong at 85 years of age. When the King David Hotel opened in 1930, the pinnacle of Jerusalem's gastronomic culture was its exclusive "La Regence" restaurant and, for many in 2015, it remains number one in Jerusalem.

Today's La Regence is a crescent-shaped, wood-paneled space with a wall of windows facing the hotel gardens and the floodlit Old City of Jerusalem. A vast wine cellar is open for inspection, as is a private dining room whose walls are covered with photographs of celebrities, royals and statesmen who have dined here.

Born in Jerusalem, 35-year-old Chef David Biton has been the executive chef of La Regence for eight years, and concentrates on using local ingredients prepared in an unusual and creative fashion that combines a uniquely "farm-to-table" concept with the rules of kashrut (kosher), a prerequisite at all major Israeli hotels.

Signature dishes include Lamb Tongue with Smoked King Oyster Mushrooms, Tomato "Leather" Filled with Wild-Caught Fish Salad, Roasted Duck Confit with Black Garlic and Filet of Beef "Financier." For dessert, sweet options range from More than an Apple (Pink Lady Apple au Gratin, Caramel Sable and Apple Sorbet) to theCitrus Finishing Touch ("La Regence" Citrus Fruit Tart). And the restaurant's sommelier can select pairings for each course from La Regence's extensive list of Israeli sparkling, white, red and dessert wines.

For more information about La Regence or to browse the menu and see photos of Chef Biton's signature dishes, please visit: www.la-regence.co.il. For more information about The King David, which was recently voted the top hotel in Israel, in Travel+Leisure magazine's "World's Best Awards 2015," go to: www.danhotels.com

Dan Hotels Israel is the largest luxury hotel group in the country. The history of the chain dates back to June 1947, when two brothers Yekutiel and Shmuel Federmann, purchased a 21-room guest house called the "Kaete Dan" on the Tel Aviv sea shore. Today, the chain owns 14 deluxe and superior first-class hotels in prime locations around the country, an international convention center and a hotel training school.

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