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Charming atmosphere, great people, and of course great food. My fiancé and I had a romantic candlelight dinner in the heart of Jerusalem with some of the best French cuisine I have ever had at Canela. Chef Jackie Azulai, who was 3rd runner up in the TV show Master Chef Israel, whipped up a dinner selection to make anyone’s mouth water. It is said that Jackie being 3rd runner up and not winner could have been because she would not make a dessert with milk while meat was being served because it was not kosher.

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To start us off, we had homemade bread and multiple dip choices. Our favorites were the beet and pesto dips. Next were appetizers of veal fillet carpaccio in balsamic vinegar & olive oil with green leaf and small radish. This was unbelievable, the perfect amount of salty and sweet. We also had their most popular appetizer at the restaurant foie gras pâté served on bruschetta. Foie gras has never been a favorite of mine, but this is something I would order again, so if you’re making that scrunched up face right now about foie gras, give this one a chance. Don’t worry, we got our greens in with their Canela salad, mixed with lettuce, baby leaf, seasonal fruits, cherry tomatoes, crispy nuts and seeds in date honey vinaigrette. Amazing!

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Of course, you need to wash down your meals with something to drink. In our case, the bartender gave us his favorite and one of the restaurants famous drinks, the Mojito. We have a regular one and also a berry. Very refreshing and just the right amount of kick to it. Dinner was hit and miss. The Grilled salmon fillet in soy, honey, and ginger sauce was a little too dry for me and didn’t excite me, too bland for a restaurant of that caliber. The duck on the other hand was, tender, flavorful, and a must to order. Our waiter said it was his favorite and one of the most popular entrees.

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Still to this day I have dreams about the dessert pastry chef Baruch Gadayev sent to our table. It wasn’t on the menu but was something they were working to put on it. It was cake, mousse, whipped cream, with every bite a mixture of flavors. It doesn’t have a name but if that dessert was as good as it was, I have faith that the rest of the selections will be fantastic. Canela is a definite must to dine at when visiting Jerusalem. We have traveled all around the world and you can tell that the quality of food is top notch. Thank you to Canela for a wonderful night. Check out their website for the whole menu and directions if your next trip is to the beautiful, historical Israel, http://www.canela.rest-e.co.il.

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