Twenty years ago, Rama Ben- Zvi decided to open a restaurant alongside the family’s nursery in Nataf, a pastoral community in the Judean Hills. Eight years ago, she made another momentous decision, hiring chef Tomer Niv, one of only a handful of Israeli chefs who has trained in a threestar Michelin restaurant, in his case London’s Fat Duck. His tenure has solidified the reputation of Rama’s Kitchen as one of the premier gastronomic destinations of the region, attracting hundreds of diners every weekend, the only time it is open.
The restaurant is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary with a special tasting menu, served Thursday and Friday evenings only. Like many who make the pilgrimage to the countryside, however, I chose to enjoy the daytime spring weather and sample the many tempting choices on the regular menu.