“A healthy salad, warm and chock-full of goodness: broccoli, carrots, zucchini, and peppers, all saut?ed in olive oil, garlic, and lemon, and served over leaf greens, cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes – a healthy and rich dish…” Keren Vizner dined at Air Caffe, an Israeli restaurant-caf? in Airport City, and felt like she was taking flight.
Like most people, I can succumb to (weekly) fantasies of flying off to some tropical destination, a tour of European sites, or a round of shopping in New York – basically, to just get away for a while. The road to Ben Gurion Airport excites me time and again, and brings out emotions unique only to that specific route. So, I enjoy driving in that direction even without a ticket and a packed suitcase. Just for the heck of it. In that respect, driving to Air Caffe allows me to get two birds with one stone: have a pleasant sit-down with a friend at a nice caf?, while feeling the thrill of driving to the airport – in this case, specifically to Airport City, located close to the airport itself.
Air Caffe was opened around two years ago by Omer, who also operates a caf? and deli in neighboring Shoham. Air Caffe is his baby. It is housed in a beautiful glass structure, and specifically decorated by a designer to give off and intimate and romantic feeling. The pleasant atmosphere is only enhanced by large lights, amazingly designed, wooden furniture, comfortable and secluded couches, and nice background music. On warmer days, it is possible to sit outside the restaurant on garden furniture, next to lit watercourses and fountains. If you’re lucky, you might spot one of the many celebrities who frequent the caf?, due to, among other reasons, its considerable distance from the paparazzi lenses. Private events, for up to 40 guests, may be hosted on site, as well.
The menu is kosher-dairy, and it includes a breakfast selection, salads, toasts, pastas, pizzas, and fish. We started our evening off with a refreshing caipirinha, accompanied by a selection of first courses, all attractively presented: papas con chili, an excellent combination of crispy potatoes, sour cream, and sweet chili; this combination repeated itself with a crispy and light dish of vegetable tempura, with sour cream and chili sauce; halloumi cheese fingers wrapped in beer batter and teriyaki sauce; and Portobello mushrooms, overlaid with parmesan cheese, and served with a greens-salad – a handsome and delicious starter dish.
It was on to the entr?es which arrived in all their glory to our table. A healthy salad, warm and chock-full of goodness: broccoli, carrots, zucchini, and peppers, all saut?ed in olive oil, garlic, and lemon, and served over leaf greens, cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes – a healthy and rich dish; the second dish, on the other hand, was rich in calories, and no complaints out of me: yam ravioli in a creamy mushroom sauce. Thick and plump ravioli triangles rested over rich cream, harmoniously combining with the yam filling.
Of course, we left room for dessert, because a meal like this should end on a sweet note. Before the desserts arrived, we were treated to a drink named “white cloud,” which is a warm blend of Irish Cream, Kahl?a, cream, and brandy, all intended to get our taste buds in the mood for some sweetness. After some deliberation, we decided to go for two freshly baked desserts: chocolate souffl? for my friend and apple pie for yours truly. The presentation alone was an indication of the quality to come. The chocolate souffl?, with its touches of white chocolate, arrived warm and resulted in a clash of spoons, scooping up the whipped cream, the vanilla ice cream, and the chocolate syrup – a real winner. The apple pie was crispy, warm and delicious, and was served with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.
It was captivating, yet slightly depressing, to watch the airplanes lower altitude and land at the nearby airport, a sight which made me want to pull into the airport on the drive back, hop on a flight of my choosing, and sit comfortably, as being carried away to a far off land. However, seeing as there is no planned vacation marked on my calendar, Air Caffe is the obvious next best choice.
Air Caffe2 HaArava, Airport City, Ben Gurion Airport03-9791812