Last week, December 9 was Avi's birthday. We asked where he would like to eat since we all like to take advantage of a night out in a special restaurant. Avi didn't have any immediate suggestions. There are wonderful restaurants in Tel Aviv but he didn't seem excited about going to any of them. So I asked if there was anywhere outside of Tel Aviv he would like to go for dinner. Not unusual around here to travel an hour or 2 for something special. He said he'd get back to me.
A day later he called and said he had made a reservation at המטבח של רמה, Rama's Kitchen a farm to table restaurant in the Judean Hills. His birthday was on Wednesday but because it was winter time the restaurant was only open three nights a week and we would have to wait for Thursday. No problem.
Reservation was for 8 pm. We left Tel Aviv at 6:45 for a 40 minute ride. Made good time on Route 1 until we hit Latroun. Then is was a parking lot. I was sure they would give away the reservation because in the city, there are no allowances. We finally exited at Abu Gosh and began the drive up a narrow road to the the kibbutz at the top of the mountain. We arrived twenty minutes late and I was wound up. But as soon as we saw the gardens and the outdoor/indoor restaurant it all fell into a comfortable evening.
We all opted for the tasting menu and a very good bottle of Pelter - interesting combinations of vegetables and herbs, labne, bread - but way too much too eat. We had so many small dishes מצה (mezze/tapas/appetizers/vorspeisen) we took home the main course.
While I love to eat, I love to cook more. All evening the nursery outside had been calling to me. The sheer volume of vegetables and herbs was more than I could resist. On the way out, the boys had to stop me from running into the garden and helping myself.