Dolce Latte

With so many cafés and restaurants in downtown Jerusalem, how does one decide which one to enter on a given day? Yonatan Sternberg checks out Dolce Latte - Spanish for sweet and Italian for milk - a Mehadrin kosher dairy café in the heart of Jerusalem.

With so many cafés and restaurants in downtown Jerusalem, how does one decide which one to enter on a given day? One option is to simply walk into a different café every time eventually creating a pool of favorite “hang-outs.” I must have passed by Dolce Latte at least a dozen times over the past year but for some reason never found the opportunity to sit and check out their offerings – hey, better late than never.

Dolce Latte (dolce is sweet in both Italian and Spanish and latte is Italian for milk), as the name implies is a Mehadrin kosher dairy café – restaurant situated at the corner of Luntz and Yaffo Streets in the heart of Jerusalem. The menu offers a variety of breakfast specials, salads, sandwiches, pasta dishes, smoothies, fresh juices, home made pizza and focaccia with various toppings as well as several fish dishes.

Since the heat stroke has finally ended, we decided to pass on the air-conditioned indoor seating option and sit outside, enjoying the cool breeze. After reviewing the menu for a couple of minutes, we placed our orders, starting off with the Italian wrap and the Dolce Salad. The wrap was both presented nicely and very tasty, made with a shell that reminded me of a cross between a traditional Druze pita and a Mexican tortilla. The filling included grilled eggplant and red peppers, feta cheese, lettuce and olive oil. The Dolce salad was tasty as well, consisting of colorful and fresh sliced vegetables, a couple of different kinds of lettuce and deep fried, melt in your mouth, breaded feta cheese balls. The cheese balls were excellent, adding a crispy warm twist to the dish.

Dolce Latte’s owner, Dudu, told us that “the clientele varies and includes tourists, local Jerusalemites and business people from nearby offices. We also host private events, business luncheons and provide catering and delivery services throughout the city.”

Ten minutes later our main courses arrived, a whole baked St. Peter’s fish topped with lemon juice, olive oil and fresh herbs for my brother Ilan and mozzarella – mushroom cannelloni in cream sauce for me. The fish was cooked well, literally falling apart at the touch of a fork. Although he had to pick around the bones, Ilan said that it was worth the work because the dish tasted so lovely. The cannelloni was rich and creamy, consisting of two large pasta tubes filled with cheese and fresh Champignon mushrooms. Before ordering dessert, Dudu insisted that we also try Dolce Latte’s special home fries – cubes of potatoes sautéed in cream and sweet & spicy Thai chili sauce. While I was a bit hesitant at first, this turned out to be a very interesting and tasty combination.

Since we were rather full, we settled for a couple of double espressos and shared a hot white and dark chocolate soufflé served with a scoop vanilla ice cream. Nothing fancy but it really hit the spot. Next time you are in Jerusalem town looking for a new place to go to or if you are sitting in the office and do not feel like going out to eat, check out Dolce Latte. Do not forget to ask for the specials, as they have special off-menu offerings daily.