(photo credit: Courtesy)
At the end of our meal at Bonofait, my dining
partner said to me, "Even if the food hadn't been so good, this would
have been a great dining experience." Taking in the view of the Judean
Hills, the rustic but colorful décor and the donkeys strolling by, I
had to agree. The food was delicious, the ambiance was superb and the
wait staff was warm and welcoming.
is a gem that locals don't want you to know about. Despite their desire
to keep such a great find to themselves, they can't help but rave about
it. The bistro is located in Kafr Rut, a tiny picturesque Moshav
between Modi'in and Kiriat Sefer. Bonofait's bright lime green walls
and retro fixtures create an environment which is as inviting as the
food is delicious.
Nurit Ran, the owner, has created a restaurant that is a jewel
tucked away on the outskirts of fields of flowers. Birds on their
winter migration make themselves at home, feasting on crumbs dropped by
patrons or from leftovers on the table. The birds were sweet although
somewhat frightening in that "man-meets-wild" kind of way.
It was a sunny afternoon in January and my dining partner and I
decided to sit outside. Dining al fresco in the winter is one of the
delights of living in Israel. At the restaurant happened to be a friend
from my hometown in upstate New York and we laughed about how the sun
was shining and everyone back in the old country would eat their hearts
The restaurant is kosher dairy with a menu that
consists mostly of soups, salads, quiches and pasta. All the food is
served on beautiful earthenware and care is taken to make the
presentation as mouthwatering as the fare. But Bonofait is not about
putting on a show, it is about creating a great environment to enjoy
their eclectic menu. Ran, trained to be a pastry chef in France infuses
extra panache into everything served.
We started with soups (NIS 32), which made a perfect complement
to a crisp winter day. The bistor's daily specials change but there is
generally the choice between creamy sweet potato, tomato and rice,
French onion and pea soup. Both my dining partner and I liked the sweet
potato best; the pea soup was a nice surprise with a touch of curry but
the French onion had too much cornstarch--and since onion soup is
served best as a clear broth rich with caramelized onions, we both
thought that this was totally unnecessary. To be fair, though, it was
still delicious and I did finish the whole bowl.
is known for their great quiches (NIS 49). The sheep's milk quiche was
creamy, which contrasted brilliantly with the flakey crust and had just
enough of the free range flavor to strike your palate as something wild
and exotic but not enough to make you feel like you are eating in a
barnyard. My friend one table over told us that the onion quiche was
her favorite and my dining partner favored the eggplant. Along with the
quiches came a healthy salad with walnuts. The crunch of the nuts set
off the soft texture of the quiche and the tang of the vinaigrette
contrasted pleasantly with the quiche's creaminess.
For those who are not into quiche, Bonofait also
has sandwiches and pastas. I didn't try any of the sandwiches (NIS
44-48) but they have eight varieties which all looked hearty and
filling, and also come with a salad.
I am a sucker for pasta and couldn't resist trying the ravioli
(NIS 49). I tried two different kinds - spinach ricotta with an alfredo
sauce and pumpkin with a rosa (red cream) sauce. The sweet potato
ravioli was an explosion of creamy sweetness. It was surprisingly light
and a definite highlight of the meal.
As a true foodie, Bonofait gave me the opportunity to challenge
my palate to identify the subtle flavors of the dishes - was that a
hint of cumin in the yogurt or mint? Did that soup have a hint of
curry? Is that a sautéed fig in the quinoa?
The desserts were nothing less than fabulous. Everything is
made in-house and Ran's French pastry skills were allowed to shine. The
apple pie had a rich crust and a roasted nut topping which tasted
amazing with the caramel sauce drizzled on top. The cheesecake was not
that special but the chocolate mousse topped with white chocolate
ganache and served on a meringue, literally sang a medley in my
mouth--the sweet tune lasted long after we left the restaurant and I
spent the rest of the day enjoying the afterglow of a truly good meal.
Bonofait is located in the Kafr Rut Industrial Area. (08)
976-6992. Open Sunday - Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 pm. Friday until
1:00pm. Closed Shabbat and Motzei Shabbat.