Last week I went "exploring" in the North of Israel and my dad and I chose Akko for our touring adventure. Since meeting Uri Jeremias of restaurant Uri Buri infamy, I have been wanting to check out his latest project - the Efendi Hotel in Akko (Acre). Uri, with his long white beard in tow, proudly showed off his 20+ million shekel luxury 12-room hotel, which besides the immaculate interior design includes a 400 year old Turkish Hammam, a wine bar boasting a fantastic selection of Israeli specialties, and a roof deck that is enough to make the visit worthwhile. The restoration process was a long saga (read more about in this Haaretz article) and I can imagine that this hotel will make it into quite a few luxury travel magazines in the coming years.
For Israelis or visitors looking for a gourmet experience, the hotel hosts events/meetings and regular wine tasting events. This Wednesday, December 12th at 20:00 the Efendi is hosting a tasting night celebrating the 12 year anniversary of Galil Mountain Winery. The event costs 250 shekels and includes tastings of their special series paired with chef gourmet food to match. For information and to reserve, call 074-7299799.
No visit to "gourmet Akko" would be complete without a visit to Uri Buri - located on the promenade of the old city. They serve food my favorite style - for sharing and with the option to do half plates to taste more dishes. The prices are mid-range, but the portions are quite small, so be prepared to order at least 6 half-dishes for 2-3 people.