Driving north past the city of Kiryat Shmona in Israel's Upper Galilee, is the beautiful Kibbutz Dafna, where at the very entrance to the kibbutz is the restaurant Cookia, serving all day from their dairy menu with Italian influences.
A light and airy little restaurant, busy with people huddled around the tables, drinking coffee, eating cake and chatting away. Outside on the veranda, there are more tables, all full of more people waiting for ordered food or tucking in to the platters of delicious food, that has already arrived.
Cookia has caught the very essence if Israel's coffee culture by serving Mauro coffee, which Israeli's will travel to savour. For over 75 years, the Mauro family from Milan, has been roasting coffee and it is here in Cookia that it is served all day to Israelis and their guests who enjoy a quality cup of coffee.
Freshly prepared salads are on the menu of this dairy only restaurant, but when the platters of beautifully chargrilled vegetables with a zingy balsamic and shallot vinaigrette and a perfectly executed fattoush salad appear with baskets of fresh breads, the menu is ideal for a long slow lunch with friends. Pizzas and pastas are on the menu too for those who are looking for hot food.
Desserts of lovely cakes and tarts, served with ice cream were good to share, followed by freshly picked herbs for teas from their own herb patch at the back of the veranda.
Service was slow but friendly and the atmosphere sociable, so a lazy brunch seemed to be appropriate for Cookia and at reasonable prices, well worth a coffee at least.....