Thursday, April 11, 2013

Travel to Zichron Yaakov and review of Nili Restaurant

My mother is visiting from Florida for 10 days - yay! Yesterday we had a lovely day trip to the scenic and relaxing Zichron Yaakov and Ramat Hanadiv. If you are staying in Tel Aviv, or anywhere along Israel's train route, Zichron Yaakov is easy to get to. The train ride is surprisingly pleasant and the system is easy to use without any of the hassles of air travel or the uncertainty of buses. From the Binyamina train station, cross the street and take the #70 bus to the last stop.

In Zichron Moshe, we went to the First Aliya Museum, about the Jewish immigrants of the 1880's, and we walked along the pedestrian mall section of Hameyasdim Street. We had an outstanding lunch at Nili (kosher mehadrin). The presentation, atmosphere, food, and service was all excellent. I wasn't terribly excited by the sushi menu until my mom brought my attention to the Special Vegetarian - tamago, shitake, kampyo takuan wrapped in sweet potato and avocado. It turned out to be the surprise highlight of the meal - sweet, soft, and fresh. We also ordered the portobello mushroom appetizer with roasted pepper and goat cheese. I loved the gentle crispness formed around the circles of lightly roasted goat cheese. I splurged on tagliattele alfredo with fresh salmon.

Just uphill from Nili Restaurant is the Tut-Neyar Paper Mill, a small studio making handmade paper and paper crafts. If you are in Zichron Yaakov, make sure to check out the gallery/shop and surrounding area. The shop also sells very unique EWE brand bags.

From Zichron Yaakov we took a short cab ride to Ramat Hanadiv to stroll the beautiful Gan Hanadiv memorial gardens where the great Zionist philanthropist Baron Edmond de Rothschild and his wife are interred. Don't miss the fragrance garden (designed for the blind), rose garden, crypt, and cascade garden. We arrived an hour before the listed closing time of 4:00 pm and a guard hassled us insisting that they close at 3:45. Plan to spend more than an hour in the gardens, with additional time for the restaurant, "info-shop," playground, and surrounding nature areas. Admission is free, but be sure to pic up a little informational pamphlet on your way into the park.

Both Zichron Yaakov and Ramat Hanadiv have amazing playgrounds that will more than satisfy any young travelers.

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