Today’s Tip: Rotenburg restaurant – Naharayim, Israel
This out of the way spot takes “hidden gem” to a new level. About an hour and 45 minutes northwest of Tel Aviv, what is now a welcoming, rustic restaurant is housed in what was an old border inspection center for the defunct Valley train line that crossed from Israel into Jordan and Syria.
It’s beyond easy to miss, the only landmark is the Geshar Kibbutz, which is across the way. Even standing right in front of the tiny, white building one could miss it. But through the blue door frame, is a beautiful low key restaurant with polished hardwood floors, spacious tables, lovely fresh flowers and little details everywhere, a gracious staff and best of all: amazing food and wine.
Dining here is a special experience, its clear that meticulous care and thought is put into the menu and this is one of those places where everything looks – and is – good.
Abundance is the theme here – each meal begins with a heaping platter of delicious little bowls of grain salads, house pickled vegetables and fresh bread and it gets better from there.
It was near impossible to choose from the Israeli, French and Italian inspired menu (a rarity for me). They offer meat, fish, pasta, salads, house made desserts and an impressive wine list with wines from Israel, France, Spain and Australia.
I highly recommend the fantastic lunch deal, which includes a starter, a main, and a glass of wine for 75 shekels (about $20).
They only have a few tables so its best to reserve in advance – it would be a shame to make the journey and be turned away.
[located at Old Gesher, near Route 90, opposite kibbutz Gesher, in the northern Beit Shean Valley]