(photo credit: Courtesy)
Gotele in Moshav Even Yehuda is famous for its cakes, pastries and bread products. About a year and a half ago the owners, Boaz and Ifat, decided to turn it into a café offering breakfasts, business lunches and suppers.
Set in the still rustic environment of the village, the café has a glass-covered patio where it’s possible to sit as if outside and enjoy the beauties of nature while not enduring the increasingly cold evenings.
Although we assured our helpful and knowledgeable waitress that we just wanted a small taste of the minestrone, two steaming bowls of the hearty peasant soup arrived at our table – just the thing to enjoy as the autumn begins to encroach. It was a classic version – everything in it but the kitchen sink – with kidney beans, pasta and many different cubed vegetables. It was slightly spicy and very good (NIS 32).
The focaccia that accompanied the soup was excellent – crispy, slightly salty and delicious. Finger bowls would have been good, as the only way to eat focaccia is to tear off pieces with the fingers, and it is slightly oily.
Or if not finger bowls, the modern equivalent, wet wipes.
The accompanying pesto was also authentic, as well as the Caprese salad we ordered to add something extra healthy to the menu. This was exceptional, with generous amounts of mozzarella, fresh cherry tomatoes and an excellent basil-flavored dressing (NIS 47).
The café offers a selection of attractive-looking homemade quiches and pizzas, but we decided to try the fish as a less caloric option. The salmon was a bit tasteless, although it was served on a very good potato puree (NIS 67).
My dining companion fared better with the burri (sea bass) – a generous portion of three fillets on a bed of roasted garlicky beetroot and onions (NIS 67). Other options that looked really good were mushroom burgers or rissoles made with unusual ingredients such as cauliflower and Swiss chard (NIS 42).
The salad accompanying the main dishes was excellent, garnished with slivers of purple onion and carrot ribbons. The dressing was made with good oil and raspberry vinegar.
Where Gotele really comes into its own, of course, is in the desserts, and we let our waitress make the choice.
What is clearly considered the piece de resistance was brought to our table – a cake with the curious name “roulade bee sting.” It was a light sponge roll filled with lashings of cream and loads more around the plate, all topped off with a caramel sauce (NIS 67). It was described in the heightened prose of the PR handout as “a cake from the 1980s that is making a comeback.”
The second dessert was an individual nut pie with buttery pastry, thick with a variety of nuts and topped with a rich chocolate sauce (NIS 39). Both desserts, served with coffee, were superb and alone justified a visit to Gotele.
The place is very popular for Friday morning breakfasts and business lunches. At breakfast, which is NIS 99 for two, they serve three eggs rather than the more usual two. There are several vegetarian and vegan options on the menu and a variety of other choices.
Although there is no kashrut certificate, the food is only dairy, and they assure me that they are closed on Shabbat.The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
54 Hameyasdim Street, Even Yehuda