Restaurant review: Dobrovin Farm – Rustic charm in the north of Israel

 (15 minutes from Kiryat Shemona, contact details at the bottom of this review)

Finding one’s niche in the crowded restaurant scene is not an easy thing, and the proprietors of the exquisite Dobrovin Farm have one or two wild cards up their sleeves that made my visit to them unforgettable.

Most importantly the food is breath taking good, and this is an establishment you’ll want to make it to.

Which is good, because you’ll need to REALLY want to find to be able to do so.

How to do you get there? You drive to the middle of nowhere, make a left and then drive some more.

Do you like a spooky story? I hope so, because the next thing you have to do is drive down the creepiest country road you’ve ever seen, on a dirt track with no lighting or any signs of civilization what so ever.

You’ve all heard the camp side horror stories about people being lost on a deserted country road only to be eaten by the natives.

This is that road!

Fresh, home made warm bread

And then you reach this stunning oasis in the middle of the Northern Israeli countryside, 15 minutes from Kiryat Shemona. A fairy tale like picturesque farm house and courtyard, containing what must be one of the best restaurants in Israel.

Make no mistake – this is a hidden jewel, worth seeking out.

To start we were served home made warm bread, that came with fresh garlic, and olive oil with balsamic vinegar.

Onion soup

I opted for the soup of the day (20 NIS), which was a delicious, rich, thick onion soup. Served in an unpretentious earthenware bowl with small peppercorns floating within, giving it just a mild bit of heat to kick the flavor profiles into the stratosphere.

My wife went for the beef Carpaccio (25 NIS). Restauranteurs take note – if you want to entice the erstwhile Mrs. Kosher Kritic into your establishment, then have beef Carpaccio on your menu.  We have literally sampled Carpaccio across the length and breadth of the land, and this one is up there with the best of them.

Beef Carpaccio

Perfectly seasoned with usual suspects – balsamic vinegar, olive oil, sea salt and herbs. Also added into that mix was some ground pistachio and a cherry tomato chutney.

For the main course I was forced to wrestle to the death with my 7:00 pm I asked what time we should have booked to be ensured they hadn’t run out of everything.

It was then we found out that they’re now open for lunch, and we didn’t indeed have to embark on the nightmarish journey in the deepest dark to get there.

So, next time I’m up north, I think we’ll be doing a lunch visit.

Proving victorious and winning the fillet mignon, I gallantly offered it to my wife, desperately hoping that she’d turn me down – and she did!

It was an act that turned out to be one of the most loving things that anyone has ever done for me, as it was beyond awesome!

Ladies and Gentlemen…THE FILLET MIGNON!

How good was it? Without a hint of exaggeration I took a bite and the incredible flavor exploded in my mouth, igniting my senses. My eyes closed in sheer blissful rapture.

Years past.

My left leg started to quiver and I moaned uncontrollably.

I opened my eyes and slowly regained my senses. It was then a realized that the rest of my family was staring at me, slack jawed in amazement of my unseemly display.

“Good, is it,” Mrs Kosher Kritic enquired, eyes narrowed in annoyance.

“blehhahhh” was all I could respond – so yes, all in all, not bad.

300 gram Matured Entrecôte

My wife consoled herself with the 300 gram matured entrecôte (120 NIS), which normally would have been considered excellent, but alas didn’t hold a candle to the fillet mignon.

It’s always a great find to discover an establishment that gets the best quality produce to work with, and chefs who know what to do with them.

I prefer my meat medium rare, and my wife medium – and both were pretty much spot on.

The sides were excellent; roast potatoes and a home made chimichurri sauce for the entrecôte, and an interesting sweetened caramelized wheat for the fillet mignon.

My son went for a rather excellent smoked goose breast on a bed of mashed sweet potato, with a cherry chutney and cider sauce, which I would also highly recommend.

Smoked goose breast on a bed of mashed sweet potato

By the end of the course, complemented by a very serviceable local house red, we were all reeling in ecstasy with full tummies. Well, it might of just been me reeling in ecstasy, as I really didn’t notice anyone else after being completely transfixed and seduced by my wondrous main course, but it’s safe to say we all had very full tummies.

But as the Talmud states, there’s always room for dessert! (and for those interested, that little pearl of wisdom is in tractate Megillah).

Tragedy then struck! Nothing as tawdry or insignificant as the assassination of President Kennedy, or 9/11, you understand – this was a real tragedy.

They were out of the creme brûlée.

We huddled together to give one another emotional support.  In our grief we ordered the Lotus ice cream crumble with a shot of expresso (18 NIS), and the hot chocolate soufflé with halva and vanilla ice cream (22 NIS).

Not being an overly chocky person, my fav was the ice cream crumble, with tiny bits of lotus cookie in it, and a tiny side shot of super strong ‘Ezra” expresso coffee, which one pours on top, giving a really nice seesaw of opposing, yet complementary flavors.

Lotus ice cream crumble with a shot of expresso
Lotus ice cream crumble with a shot of expresso

The chocolate soufflé was pretty much what you’d expect. It erupted perfectly with a molten interior as you drove your spoon into the crust, and really couldn’t have been any better.

Utterly satiated we waddled out throughout the gorgeous farm house surroundings and made it back to the car, doused ourselves in holy water, sharpened steaks and prepared silver bullets for the drive back to our hotel.

Isod Hamaala St., Yesod Hamaale (close to Kiryat Shemona)
Tel: 04-680-2680
Kosher under the supervision of Rabbi Tzephania Drori
Google Map Link

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About the Author
Tzvi Lebetkin: Writer, Adventurer, Private Consulting Detective & Lover. Kosher Kritic & Rabbi from another planet. Available for screenplays, comic books, weddings, divorces and bar mitzvahs.
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