A heavy and humid heat settled on the streets of Eilat, the promenade was packed with people, and we were desperately seeking refuge. In the middle of a pleasant, elegant, and air-conditioned boulevard of shops, with the French-styled name of “Le Boulevard,” we found that for which we were searching in the form of a coffee shop bearing the same name. Caf? Boulevard caters to the guests of the area hotels and to the passerbys. It offers a light dairy-based menu and meals for the times in between meals, which may be fitting for the Eilat vacation experience – after the hearty breakfast offered at the hotels and before the evening poolside-barbeque.
The generous establishment’s d?cor is done in French finesse, including a white grand piano and cushioned chairs with engraved armrests. The menu includes sandwiches, salads, quiches, pastas, pastries, and fine cakes. Adjacent to the caf?, is its private bakery which prepares the breads and cakes served to the patrons. In addition, marmalades of various flavors, spreads, and olive oil are available for purchase.
The sandwiches prepared here break the familiar sandwich mold, as we know it. The salmon sandwich, with which we began our meal, includes a whole-wheat croissant, spread with chive cream cheese, and filled with strips of smoked-salmon, vegetables, and antipasti. The Balkan sandwich was also first-rate: a fresh pretzel, crumbly and appropriately adorned with salt, filled with goat’s cheese, tomato spread, antipasti, and mint leaves.
The entr?es arrived later on. A plate of pasta in cream and mushrooms will be well-remembered due to the cheese adorning the dish – crispy, melted and seasoned, spicy and of a special taste. The cannelloni was filled with fresh spinach and served over tomato sauce. This combination forms an aesthetically pleasing dish, which allows the diner to mix the flavors according to the proportions suitable to his palette.
The best part of the place is, without a doubt, the offerings of the dessert menu. The Belgian chocolate cake provided an aroma and a flavor of premium concentrated chocolate, with each bite being a true pleasure. The cheese cake was veritable, classic, and refined. The pinnacle, however, was the fruit pie, which would fill any quality brasserie in Paris with a sense of pride – a delicate pastry, sweet patisserie cream accompanied by bits of vanilla, and very fresh fruit, carefully arranged for maximum effect of color and flavor. A “Caf? de la Boulevard” pie indeed. To accompany our desserts, we had the house ice coffee, Cappuccino Fredo, served cold and ground, and can be prepared in a number of flavors, decaffeinated, and with various quantities of milk. The coffee is served unsweetened, with the addition of sugar-water, so that each patron may sweeten his coffee according to exact taste – a thoughtfulness which is uncharacteristic to coffee shops, especially ones in Eilat, the city of vacations and diets-be-damned.
We rejoined the outside heat feeling satiated, content, and ready to make the following recommendation: the next time you are in Eilat, if you feel like taking a vacation from your vacation, are looking for a place in which to relax, one with a pleasant atmosphere, a rare serenity in the Eilat summer, good coffee and desserts to die for – you would do well to take a refreshing break at Caf? Boulevard.
Isrotel Royal Garden Hotel, Le Boulevard, Northern Beach, Eilat.