December 16, 2018

Casino in the shuk

On the other side of town, inside Mahane Yehuda Market, today’s Casino de Paris picks up where the British Mandate period left off. Once a popular officer’s club-casino-bordello, the current incarnation is a much tamer late-night haunt. 

Co-launched by shuk innovator Eli Mizrahi, Casino de Paris serves 20 wines, 25 beers (including Taybeh) and whimsical cocktails — designed by co-owner Sha’anan Street, soloist of the Israeli band Hadag Nahash. 

These unusual concoctions hint at times passed. The cup of “Yitzchak Rabin” is Scotch whiskey and soda with olive leaves. The “German Colony” combines Weihenstephan beer with a Jäger chaser “and a surprise side.” The “King Agrippas,” for whom the nearby street takes its name, blends sparkling cava with a hint of arak, sugar and walnuts. And the delicious “Ha’Agas” (Hebrew for “pear”) combines pear syrup with white rum, mint leaves and a fruit slice. 

Delicious small plates, such as the smoked fish or veggie, sized to share with a friend, come with fresh bread accompanied by delicious tiny dishes of mayo and coriander pesto. The signature marzipan dessert, featuring two twin candies, is the perfect, tiny conclusion to a light, delightful dinner in the most unexpected location. From Agrippas Street, enter the open air Mahane Yehuda Street. Turn right at the last entrance before Jaffa Road and left at the next corner. 

3 Mahane Yehuda (Georgian Market within Mahane Yehuda), Jerusalem, 972-2-650-4265.