Mariposa: A newly-kosher restaurant on the golf course - review

Whatever the reason, we were very happy to be guests of this top-class restaurant that is known for its innovative cuisine, special atmosphere and friendly staff.

 Mariposa (photo credit: ALEX DEUTSCH)
(photo credit: ALEX DEUTSCH)

As a person who observes kashrut, it’s always gratifying when a non-kosher restaurant suddenly does an about-turn and becomes kosher. It could be for several reasons: the owners suddenly had a spiritual awakening and decided they only wanted to serve kosher food; it makes more economic sense; or, in the case of Mariposa, which we visited recently, the chefs and staff felt they wanted to spend Shabbat with their families.

Whatever the reason, we were very happy to be guests of this top-class restaurant that is known for its innovative cuisine, special atmosphere and friendly staff.

For golf enthusiasts, the Caesarea Golf Club is an obvious magnet, and the restaurant is an added attraction. It underwent its makeover only six months ago and the three chefs seem to be coping admirably with kashrut restrictions to turn out exceptional food.

What's on the menu in Caesarea?

The cocktail menu is quite extensive but we preferred to start with our favorite tipple, a gin and tonic for me, and whiskey sour for my companion (NIS 32). With our drinks came three fairly standard dips – tehina, oil and balsamic vinegar, and a rather tangy lemon pickle, served with a hot sesame loaf. Nibbling on these kept us going until the first courses arrived.

My companion liked the sound of “liver parfait,” which consisted of a very smooth pate with almost imperceptible bits of fresh pear in wine as garnish. (NIS 62). The dish was demolished with almost indecent haste. Well, it’s a long drive to Caesarea.

 Mariposa (credit: ALEX DEUTSCH) Mariposa (credit: ALEX DEUTSCH)

My starter was a special, not on the official menu, and our very helpful waiter read it out for me. It was a dish of very thinly sliced kohlrabi, filled with ceviche of tuna in an Asian chili sauce with peanuts. It was a little spicy but pleasantly so.

A third starter found its way to our table – Tataki sirloin, which consisted of small slices of very rare meat with shitake mushrooms in a sweet dressing. It was very good and felt vaguely healthy with its large amount of mixed leaves as garnish.

For his main course, my companion chose more sirloin steak, grilled and served in a rich brown gravy with an original side in the shape of fried gnocchi. The sauce was especially good (NIS 158).

My main course was cubes of sea bass fillet in a kadaif crust with peppermint gazpacho (NIS 68). The fish was very fresh and crispy, and the sauce added an unexpected flavor. 

We each had a glass of wine; Chardonnay for me, (NIS 52) and a Cabernet Sauvignon for my companion (NIS 46). Glasses of ice-cold water and soda appeared at regular intervals.

Finally, we ended this stupendous meal with two excellent and original desserts. One was a bar of dark chocolate cake with raw tehina on top, and olive oil with balsamic vinegar on the bottom, with fresh blueberries as garnish (NIS 52). The other was a crème brulee with overtones of Jerusalem artichoke and cashew ice-cream. This was creative cooking at its best.

The restaurant offers a business lunch from noon to 5 p.m., with two courses costing somewhere between NIS 89 to NIS 172; drinks are extra. This offers a chance to sample Mariposa’s exceptional cuisine without breaking the bank. 

“Sensational Mariposa” is how the restaurant is described in PR blurbs and this is not just hyperbole. The food at Mariposa is original, beautifully presented – and of course delicious.

MariposaCaesarea Golf Course(04) 626-5000Sunday-Thursday, 12-11 p.m.; Saturday, 7 p.m.-12 a.m.Kashrut: Hof Hasharon Rabbinate

The writer was a guest of the restaurant.