Marinado: A wonderful meal in Israel's North - review

The service in Marinado is friendly and attentive, but not overbearing. We are counting the weeks before we come here again

 MARINADO'S carpaccio. (photo credit: ANATOLY MICHAELO)
MARINADO'S carpaccio.
(photo credit: ANATOLY MICHAELO)

Three lovely children (the loveliest in the world, to be more accurate), who came for a short post-coronavirus visit to Israel, were the reason I packed a few things and went up north to visit friends and family, and take a swim in the Sea of Galilee, before the weather turns too hot.

But the three kids, as kids are, needed to be fed, and they are all meat aficionados, so I booked us a table for four at Marinado, the carnivores’ haven of the North, and where one can get some of the best grilled meats in  the country.

The story of Marinado, the beef farm from the Golan Heights, begins in what is known as “Israeli Cowboy Country” on the Golan Heights. First established in the Galilee, the owners of Marinado, wishing to market their produce directly to their customers, decided to build a compound near the entry to Kibbutz Ein Gev, on the eastern shores of the Kinneret.

The compound includes a wonderful meat restaurant, which serves excellent cuts, beef and lamb, grown under strict supervision on the slopes of the Golan Heights. Adjacent to the restaurant there is a butchery and a culinary shop. In recent years, Marinado has also developed into a chain of butcheries spread across the country. 

Dining at Marinado

Arriving at Marinado as the sun was setting, we were greeted by the smiling hostess/manager of the restaurant and shown to our table. From the windows we could see the cows grazing on the slopes of the Heights. Around us families and groups of friends seemed to be enjoying their meals. 

 MARINADO'S Porterhouse steak. (credit: Ronen Malchan) MARINADO'S Porterhouse steak. (credit: Ronen Malchan)

We started by ordering drinks. The children chose to drink a freshly squeezed lemonade and I treated myself to the house Merlot. All the wines sold here are under the name Marinado. 

Next came the hard task of ordering the food. We thought about ordering burgers, but then decided not to miss the opportunity to eat a more interesting cut. In the end we shared two wonderful dishes – the prime rib steak and the lamb chops and steak (priced according to weight). Both can be considered as a dish for two. With fries and a small salad on the side – we thought it would be enough.

Served sliced with the bone, the prime rib was fantastic. Full of flavor, seared to perfection and cooked just right, it was one of the best steaks I had in years.  

The lamb was another success – I love lamb chops and they are not always available. These were great, moist and tender. Both dishes were devoured. 

The manager decided we needed to taste another dish, from the starters menu, and brought what is called here “assado and lamb snacks” (NIS 49), which are thinly sliced, seasoned well and seared very quickly on a hot plate. A very tasty dish that will keep you busy and that will go very well with beer. As it was, the kids thought it was fantastic as is, and after finishing it felt stuffed.

Strategically located for anyone touring the North, the Sea of Galilee and the Golan Heights, this is also a great starting point for people looking to enjoy the attractions and stock up for their barbecue.

The store sells delicacies and cooking utensils, anything from olive oil and wines, to meats, dressings and sauces, goodies and ice creams and pots for cooking over open fires, as well as rugs and mats for outdoor meals. Kids will love it and even vegetarians can find something here.

We left happy and full. The service in Marinado is friendly and attentive, but not overbearing. We are counting the weeks before we come here again.

Marinado Ein Gev (across from the entry to the kibbutz)Not kosherTelephone (04)6658555Sunday-Thursday: 1-9 p.m.; Friday: 12-10 p.m.; Saturday 12-9 p.m.Butcher shop: Sunday-Thursday, Saturday: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday 9 a.m.-10 p.m.

The writer was a guest of the restaurant.