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Food & Drink The Israeli Experience Magazine

Dining with a view

HaBikta Restaurant in Mitzpe HaShalom (The Peace Vista), located wonderfully on the edge of a cliff in the south of the Golan Heights, offers excellent gourmet kosher food and views on a different level
by: Meirav Amitai Cohen   |   15.11.2011
Gadi and Iris Azoulay know how to make food. Chefs who have come to visit in their kitchen at one time or another have always complemented Iris in a way one hears only on "Master Chef”. Gadi, the meats person in the restaurant, knows every cow around the Golan Heights, where the couple lives. After years of success at "HaBikta” (The Cabin) Restaurant, which is in moshav Ramot, the couple has decided to expand their restaurant business and founded a new restaurant of the same name of "HaBikta”, and this time at the beautiful vacation resort in Mitzpe HaShalom (The Peace Vista).

Mother earth has given birth to a restaurant


"I cannot really explain the miraculous success of "HaBikta”, our first restaurant in moshav Ramot. Morning and evening, winter and summer, it is always full and receives compliments”, says Gadi Azoulay, the owner. Next to the restaurant until recently there was an active complex of tents, called "Ima Adama” (Mother earth), which hosted large groups of people overnight and also provided them with meals. This place, which gained many fans, had to be closed down by Gadi and Iris due to bureaucracy that had to do with permits, but it left them with the demand for more. Because they could not expand "HaBikta” Restaurant in moshav Ramot, Gadi and Iris decided on a new location for an additional restaurant with a no less magnificent view. And thus, on the edge of a high basalt cliff in the south of the Golan Heights region, overlooking a breathtaking panoramic view of the Mountains of the Hermon, the Mountains of the Galilee, the Arbel Mountain and of course the Sea of Galilee which glistens from below, is located the new "HaBikta” Restaurant. In a special structure which combines wood and stone, designed in a country style, with a large wooden door which receives the guests, large windows which remind also the diners inside of where they are, one can eat kosher gourmet food. Until the time that Gadi and Iris have arrived here, this place has changed many owners and styles, but Gadi and Iris were not afraid of the bad karma of this place and decided that their own positive energies which they bring here with them will make the difference and bring to a change.

Gourmet Grill


And why a kosher restaurant? "In time we saw that out of ten Israelis who come into the restaurant, at least one kissed the Mezuzah and we decided to go in that direction”, Gadi explains. It is for that reason that "HaBikta” Restaurant is not open on Saturdays, and on Friday evenings, when the guests in the complex arrive here to have their evening meal, the restaurant functions just like a hotel.
The menu of "HaBikta” Restaurant is "Gourmet Grill” as Azoulay calls it. The vacation resort in Mitzpe HaShalom is of a high level and the synergy which was created between us has brought to the restaurant being of a similar orientation. Differently than "HaBikta” Restaurant in moshav Ramot, a "hard core” meats restaurant, here at "HaBikta” Restaurant in Mitzpe HaShalom we offer more special dishes which combine a variety of flavors, sauces and spices”.

And thus, for example, the winter menu warms one’s heart and potentially the stomach as well, with various casseroles such as fresh salmon in coconut, curry and coriander sauce, lamb risotto and a lamb and root vegetables casserole. The atmosphere and your heads will be warmed up by warm cocktails.
"In the Golan Heights most of the restaurants are quite similar to one another and we tried to distinguish ourselves from them, to brand our "HaBikta” Restaurant differently and adapt it to the typical diners who arrive to have their meals in the country”, says Azoulay. In order to execute their ideas in the best way possible, Gadi and Iris have recruited Chef Harel Mac who cooked in Southern France in Michelin star restaurants, and moved north to "HaBikta” Restaurant after five years at the Jerusalemite restaurant "Adom” (Red). And thus one can sit in Mitzpe HaShalom around noon time on a wintery but sunny day in front if one of the most beautiful views in Israel, enjoy a dish of an excellent entrecote that is accompanied with a good Golan Heights wine and believe that one day there will indeed be peace here.


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