During my May trip to Israel my incredible hosts planned an extravagant dinner for my first night in the country. They had actually discovered the restaurant two weeks prior and were so excited that they texted me pictures of all the vegetarian dishes! The text message chain ended with, "And we just made a reservation to take you here. See you at this table in two weeks."
The restaurant is in a shopping plaza in Be'er Sheva called Ha Big, which translates to "The Big." Very creative, people.
It's called Kepasa, which is a spelling you get when you translate from Hebrew to Spanish to English. Hilarious.
The restaurant's dining room is enormous. At the center of the room is the bar which is lit by giant chrome light fixtures.
There is one entire wall stacked from floor to ceiling with wine bottles.
My favorite section of the space is the private dining area, which has a book shelf behind it decorated with canned foods, board games, souvenirs and more.
We were seated and handed menus by the waitress. Though they do not have a menu in English, they do know how to spell "alcohol."
The napkins at each place setting cracked me up. For those who don't speak Spanish, "Que" is the word for "what" which is half of the phrase "Que pasa", meaning "What's happening?" In Israel, apparently the phrase is "Kepasa" and the short hand is simply "K?"
The food at Kepasa is tapas style, so we ordered about half the menu and just let it come to us. First up we had a giant loaf of warm bread served with three delicious dipping sauces.
The bread was followed by a decadent cheese plate of mozzarella, blue cheese, manchego and brie. Holy yum.
We also ordered a salad which came topped with red onions, slivered almonds and large shavings of parmesan cheese. The dish was topped with a drizzle of balsamic.
I love mushrooms and this next dish had a strong, woodsy flavor. It arrived in the skillet and topped with a cheese foam and greens.
We also ordered the asparagus with a poached egg, which is one of my favorite spring time dishes. Kepasa cooked the asparagus expertly, which is the key.
Now, at this point you'd think we'd had enough, but you'd be wrong.
We also ordered the truffle pizza which was outrageously rich! The crispy crust was topped with gooey cheese, mushrooms and wilted arugula.
My friend's husband wanted to order one meat dish for himself and picked the burger. It came speared with a pickle and paired with a small bowl of golden yellow French fries. He inhaled the entire plate.
By now we were loosening our pants. Despite feeling extremely full, my friend admitted to me there is a crazy dessert on the menu they wanted to try last time, but didn't. Since I was in town and this was our first big night out, they reasoned that was the perfect excuse to order it.
The dessert came in a very elaborate and bright presentation.
It was a white chocolate coconut cake served over raspberry and mango sauce. The plate was also dotted with mini macaroons.
At the end of the plate was a milkshake shot. I don't know when this trend started in pastry, but I love it.
After polishing off the cake, we were ready to be rolled home. The food at Kepasa is excellent and it's impossible not to over order because everything sounds irresistible.
If it weren't a 12 hour plane ride away, I'd be a regular at Kepasa.