The bistro Raphael is a firm favorite of both tourists and locals, with it's French-Israeli blended menu, enjoyed while taking in the splendid view of the Mediterranean from the restaurant's large windows. Rafi Cohen is the legendary chef who runs Raphael and his dishes are famous for being generous, well-presented and reasonably-priced. Moroccan cuisine is a definite influence in the foods that are successful fusions of different cooking methods.
The fantastic menu has been known to change once in a while but old-favorites usually stay put, the wine selection is substantial and the desserts are heavenly. The popularity of Raphael means that it is worthwhile booking in advance because by 21:00 the place is usually very busy. The next-door Hamara bar offers smaller portions of the same delicious food so if you're looking for a different experience it may be worth checking it out.
Today my husband made reservation for lunch at one of the tables with sofa with a view to the sea. Not to mention he had to call few times until there was any answer, he offered all the details ( name, phone number and place where we wanted to sit) in Hebrew so for sure there was no misunderstanding. When we got there the lady had no idea about the reservation even if she is the one taking the calls. The tables we wanted were occupied and she offered us another table but we refused and left . Even if it is not a huge issue I believe it is not acceptable for a restaurant that is expected to be so good.
Took my brothers and thier wifes from abroad to a birthday dinner in tel aviv - as one of the party sits in a wheel chair we choose Raphael's which is near their hotel. I had eaten their in the past and it was always excellent. The evening was a disaster from the beginning to the end: a waitress who can't speak English., a menue which is out of date by a month, aggressive air conditioning which totally freezes you to the bone - we asked 10 times to raise the tempreture to no avail, - & above all the food - we ordered lamb chops and each one of us asked for a diiferent level of cooking - the waitress checked in the kitchen and said ''the sous chef can only cook medium - you'll have to eat the lamb the way he knows to cook - he's just a sous chef!'' We asked where is the famous Chef Rafi Cohen ? the answer:- 'he's the owner he does not come in - but we have 2 sous chefs''. All this in a very expensive & famous resteraunt, 'How the mighty have fallen' - it was a disgrace and so sad. My recommendatopn don't eat at Raphael\'s go to a serious happy restaurant.
excellent food, great service, great atmosphere. I highly recommend Raphael!!