There’s a new Italian restaurant in town! Better yet, it’s a new Italian restaurant that’s really close to our home! This new player is Pomo, joining the two other boot-nation joints in Ramat Hachayal Hi-Tech campus Joya and Pronto Kiosko.
The place was opened a month ago and currently only operates in the evenings. We were told they are planning to open for lunch soon. The menu is divided, like most Italian restaurants, into Starters, Main, Salads, Pasta, Pizza and Special. What I liked about it is that alongside classical and simple dishes, they also offer some more unique and interesting combinations with ingredients you won’t likely find in other Italian restaurants.
The pizza menu, for example, features the staple Margarita (49₪ \ $14) with tomatoes, mozzarella, Parmesan and basil. Further down this section you can spot dishes like Pizza Inverno (59₪ \ $16.5) with pumpkin, mascarpone and chestnuts, and Pizza Vera (66₪ \ $18.5) with broccoli, pecorino romano, ricotta cheese and lemon.
The place is beautifully decorated in brown and green notes. It has an open kitchen, a big Tabun oven with a chimney large enough for Santa to fit (not sure he’ll be able to get out the same way after having some pizzas though). The seating arrangements are suited for every occasion – big tables, bar and outside seating.
We arrived at the restaurant in the early evening and were offered to sit at the bar. We requested a window-side table if possible (it’s better for the pictures), and one minute later we were escorted to a nice table across the kitchen.
Our waitress came to introduce herself at a perfect timing and offered to help us assemble our dinner. She was knowledgeable about each dish and its ingredients and knew how to guide us according to our preferences. Throughout the entire meal our water bottle was filled without us having to ask and the entire set of utensils was replaced following our starters. It’s all those small things that count and can turn a good dining experience into a great one.
We decided on two starters in addition to one pizza and one pasta. Waiting for our starters we discussed how might Pomo fight for customers with its Italian neighbor Joya, especially if its lunch menu is priced competitively.
Both starters then arrived to the table. The Pumpkin in the Tabun (41₪ \ $11.5) came with bushe cheese, parmesan, 3-years balsamic and pistachios. The 3 pumpkin pieces were charred and had the perfect texture – not too mushy and with just the right amount of cheese and oil to keep every bite interesting.
The next dish was an even bigger surprise – with a blast full of flavors like sweet, spicy and salty. Also much easier to split between 2 people. On a long plate were 4 small Bruschettas with Red Tuna (53₪ \ $15). Each slightly-overly-toasted piece of bread was topped with tuna diced to small cubes and mixed with shallot, coriande and aioli de pepperchino (peppers).
A short interlude in the dinner enabled us to prepare some room in the stomach for the doughy part of the meal. We went for a more classic pasta dish, and a somewhat adventurist pizza one, since the pizza section is where the chef’s imagination really let loose. The Calabria Pizza (67₪ \ $19), named after the southern region in Italy which forms the “toe” of the boot. This is a white pizza topped with crème fraîche, mozzarella, potato, egg, pancetta and asparagus. The crust was perfectly made – not too thick and not too thin. It was able to hold all the toppings when held and folded in half. The cheese-dough balance was perfect. The egg yolk was runny. The high-quality ingredients were also of the right amount. The only negative thing I have to say the uneven spread of the toppings, specifically the pancetta that was populating almost exclusively one slice.
The pasta dish we chose, from the Special section on the menu, is Tortellini Veal Cheek (74₪ \ $21) – a minimalist dish served with beef stock and parmesan. These soft pillows had a balanced ratio of filling to dough. Elegant and so tasty.
Pomo’s dessert menu features desserts made by Otmazgin. There are six options: Lemon Tart, Chocolate, Mille-feuille, Tiramisu and Ice Cream and the one we ordered – Pisa (42₪ \ $12). Indeed resembling the Pisa tower, this dish comprised of baked meringue, vanilla chantilly and berries. As soon as the dessert arrived to out table I quickly found myself disappointed. The dessert was the weakest part of the meal. For some reason someone thought it would be a good idea to put canned cherries on the plate and micro basil. Also there was far too much meringue or too little creme, depending how you want to look at it.
Overall, our meal was very enjoyable, start to finish, and we think that Pomo definitely sets the bar high for other restaurants in Tel Aviv in general, and in the Ramat Hachayal area in particular. Our only hope is that they step up their dessert game and give the sweet dishes the same amount of care and love as they do with the savory dishes.