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An Armenian celebration in Jerusalem

You’re invited to get a glimpse into one of the most intriguing ethnic kitchens in Israel. Restaurant 02, at The Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

A feast - not only for the eyes
A feast - not only for the eyes

The Armenian community is one of the most intriguing and mysterious ethnic communities that exist in Jerusalem. According to tradition, these are the first people to accept Christianity in the third century CE, and they made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem hundreds of years before other nations. This gave them a physical grip on Jerusalem and led to the development of an Armenian district in the city. This district is, to this day, a pilgrimage center for Armenians from all over the world and also a fascinating center that preserves flavors and stews from the cuisine of the Caucasus Mountains – a kitchen that has lost many culinary fingerprints following multiple wars and the Turkish genocide.

In a special gesture to this unique community, a unique menu will be served at Jerusalem’s Restaurant 02 that will provide a glimpse into one of the most intriguing ethnic kitchens in Israel. In the coming days, the O2, the Inbal Hotel’s gourmet chef restaurant, will present a unique menu based on the rich history, colorful and aromatic nature and freshness of Armenian cuisine. The menu, to be served in the restaurant starting Tuesday, March 3, for only two weeks, is the result of a special collaboration. It will serve special dishes that correspond to the longstanding tradition of Armenian cuisine, using local and seasonal produce.

To build the special menu, O2 chef Nimrod Norman joined chef Arpina Kozoyan Dimarjan, a scion of an Armenian family. The two revived historical dishes from the Armenian cuisine and family life of Dimerjan and revisited her childhood memories, while creating a new and up-to-date interpretation using seasonal Jerusalem raw materials and contemporary cooking techniques. Aside from the various dishes that will be specially introduced to the menu, the meals will be served in unique handcrafted dishes and guests will dine to the sounds of Armenian music. 02 will also offer guests a variety of drinks influenced by the Armenian tradition alongside traditional Armenian brandy.

Guests will open their Armenian feast with traditional Armenian bread lavash alongside a multitude of sauces, salads and flavors such as: “Ithesh” – Armenian tabula, “Pazukov” red bean and beet salad, raisin cabbage salad, Yarvan salad, Cuba lentils.

Main courses include Basturma – Pastrama of Armenian Beef, Vospov Kufte – Red Lentil Dumplings, Havi Mesov Gargantag – Pastry Stuffed Chicken in Black Pepper and Lahmagoun and Armenian Lamb garnished Bread. Delicious vegan choices include Ghapama – rice stuffed pumpkin, hazelnuts and dried fruits. Specialty dishes such as Harissa will also be served – slow cooked stew with mashed Khashlama mutton, lamb shoulder stew with vegetable manti, veal cuts with vegetable broth. A selection of desserts will follow.

Join an Armenian celebration!