November has been a busy foodie month, especially in Jerusalem where we enjoyed a week of incredible events thanks to the Open Restaurants festival – I will follow up with a specific post on all the great events I attended.
I was fortunate to spend a few days in the Golan and Hula Valley this month, so I have included notes on some places I ate at during my trip.
Gabriel (Kosher) will close on December 12, after 12 years in business. In its place, the owner and chef Harvey Sandler will open Harvey’s Smokehouse in order to appeal to a broader and younger clientele. Until it closes, Gabriel will serve a special menu featuring its most popular dishes over the last 12 years.
Villa Brown (Hashgacha Pratit) – the courtyard of this new boutique hotel is the perfect setting for a relaxing brunch. The brunch includes a delicious basket of fresh bread and pastries, served with homemade jam, a selection of interesting fresh salads with unlimited refills, a choice of five main dishes, including shakshuka, omelet and green vegetable stew, as well as hot and cold drinks. The food was all delicious and the service was efficient and attentive.
Valero (Kosher) – even though when it first opened, Valero was not kosher, it recently closed to update the kitchen and has reopened under kosher supervision. The menu was crafted by Chef Aviv Moshe and the restaurant is run by his childhood friends.
DKL Bar (Not Kosher) – the Machneyuda Group has opened a new private bar aimed at over 30s (yeah). Entrance is only to members with a magnetic access card and each member is limited to one guest. The fully stocked bar serves a variety of wine and cocktails, as well as a bar-snack menu. Private members clubs are popular abroad, I wonder if this will be the beginning of a new trend in Israel.
TEL AVIV & MERKAZ
Resto French Kitchen (Kosher) has opened opposite the Fashion Mall on Ha’Hashmonaim in Tel Aviv. Another French import, traditional dishes include Duck Rillette, Goose Liver Terrine and Beef Tartar prepared tableside. The service was wonderful and the setting is comfortable but relaxed.
Yogurt by Anita (Dairy no hechsher) – Anita Gelato has opened a new frozen yogurt and granola bar at Shabazi 44, around the corner from the main Anita Gelato store. Special toppings include artisanal granola, goji berries and other superfoods. For now, there is a choice of cow or sheep milk yogurt but they are planning to add a vegan option.
The Setai – Sea of Galilee (Kosher) is a new luxury hotel on the east side of the Kinneret, 5 km north of Ein Gev. Similar to the Beresheet hotel in Mizpe Ramon, all the rooms are cabins overlooking the Kinneret, with either a private plunge pool or a jacuzzi. The hotel also has an indoor and outdoor pool and private beach. We enjoyed a relaxing lunch in the hotel lounge, overlooking the Kinneret, with attentive service and a serene setting. There is also a meat restaurant in the hotel.
Beit Haugot (Mehadrin) – even though it was not warm enough to sit in the wonderful garden of this country café, the service was still warm and friendly and the food was fresh and tasty. We also had the pleasure of trying their fresh Sfinj which were delicious – full review from a previous visit here.
Gilabun Farm (Kosher) – we loved our dinner at this easy-going country restaurant in the middle of the Golan. It was recommended to me by Fun Joel Tours and was the perfect option for us, driving back from the Hula Valley into the Golan. The log fire and attentive, friendly service accompanied a tasty meal in a great ranch house setting.
Moshe Segev (Kosher) – Chef Moshe Segev has opened his first kosher restaurant in Beesheva. The chef already owns numerous successful non-kosher restaurants including Segev Art, Segev Concept and Segev Express. He is planning to open a second kosher restaurant in Netanya in a few months and possibly others in the future. The menu includes various meat and fish dishes – full menu on the website.
The A-sham Arab Food Festival will take place again this year in Haifa, December 13 -15, showcasing Arab food from the Levant. The director of the event is Dr. Nof Atamna-Ismaeel who won Master Chef Israel in 2014. More information will be available on the festival website.
- Gourmandises by Yoel brings French gourmet to Jerusalem
- Hanamal 24 is a European enclave in downtown Haifa
- Kosher Sarona
- Street Food in the Shuk
- Open Restaurants Returns to Jerusalem
To read previous monthly roundups, click here.