Although Israel is known for its incredible Mediterranean foods such as falafel, shawarma, and schnitzel, its hidden gem is the Italian food in the heart of Tel Aviv. While wandering the streets of Tel Aviv looking for somewhere to grab lunch, my friends and I stumbled upon an Italian restaurant on Rothschild Boulevard called Rustico. The restaurant had a cute red awning and was filled with wooden tables and chairs. We sat down at a table and perused the menu. The menu had a few starters such as bruschetta and a soup of the day. Pizza, salads, and varieties of pasta were offered as some of the main courses. Seeing as we weren't starving, the three of us decided to share two dishes: a Margherita pizza and a homemade Gnocchi with tomato and cheese sauce. The service was good, as we informed them that we were in a bit of a rush and they were able to bring the food out fairly quickly. 

Rachel Faber

After my first bite of the Gnocchi, I was in heaven. They tasted like warm fluffy clouds covered in a creamy tomato sauce. This was by far the best Gnocchi I had ever had. 

Next, I went for the pizza. Being a New Yorker, I would say I'm an expert at finding delicious pizza. This pizza had a perfect balance of sauce, cheese and basil and the crust was thin and crisp with a nice burnt edge. 

The meal was so amazing that I went on to brag about it to all my friends and the next time we ended up in Tel Aviv we just had to go back to share the experience and amazing food with the rest of my friends. Who knew you could find such amazing Italian food in the heart of the Mediterranian. 

When I went back with my friends, we had a business lunch that included an appetizer, a main entree, and a drink. I ordered the bruschetta, gnocchi and a diet coke. It was just as good as the first time. My friends ordered the pappardelle with classic Bolognese sauce (pictured below) and my other friends shared the pescatora risotto. After lunch, we were all pleased and full. 

Rachel Faber

Since Rustic was so amazing, I knew I had to bring my family there when they came to visit. On my brothers birthday, we went there to celebrate. After we ordered drinks, the waiter overheard us talking about how it was my brothers birthday and he brought over complimentary shots. This time I decided to skip the gnocchi and see if the other dishes were as delicious. I ordered the Mezzi Rigatoni Dino (pictured below). The pasta was cooked to a perfect andante and the sauce was rich and creamy with a hint of spice. It was delectable and I will definitely be trying this again next time. After dinner, we ordered dessert for my brothers birthday. He ordered an apple crumble. With the apple crumble came another dessert on the house which was whipped cream with a berry sauce. Both desserts were scrumptious! It was very kind of the restaurant to bring us so many treats to celebrate my brothers birthday. I highly recommend this restaurant as a place to celebrate your birthday at! 

Rachel Faber

If you couldn't tell, I really enjoyed this restaurant to the point where I went back two more times after the first time. Every dish has been mouthwatering and the service and experience are always pleasant. If you are looking for even more recommendations for where to eat in Tel Aviv check out: