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Balaboosta

Critic's Pick Critics' Pick

214 Mulberry St., New York, NY 10012 40.721969 -73.996208
nr. Spring St.   See Map | Subway Directions Hopstop Popup
212-966-7366 Send to Phone

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  • Cuisine: Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
  • Price Range: $$$

    Key to Prices and ratings

    Upscale
    • Almost Perfect
    • Exceptional
    • Generally Excellent
    • Very Good
    • Good
    Cheap Eats
    • Best in Category
    • Excellent
    • Delicious
    • Very Good
    • Noteworthy
    • Very Expensive
    • Expensive
    • Moderate
    • Cheap
  • Critics' Rating: **

    Key to Prices and ratings

    Upscale
    • Almost Perfect
    • Exceptional
    • Generally Excellent
    • Very Good
    • Good
    Cheap Eats
    • Best in Category
    • Excellent
    • Delicious
    • Very Good
    • Noteworthy
    • Very Expensive
    • Expensive
    • Moderate
    • Cheap
  • Reader Rating:

    8 out of 10

      |  

    11 Reviews | Write a Review

Photo by Melissa Hom

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Official Website

balaboostanyc.com

Hours

Mon, 5:30pm-11pm; Tue-Thu, 11:30am-3:30pm and 5:30pm-11pm; Fri, 11:30am-3:30pm and 5:30-11:30pm; Sat, 11am-3:30pm and 5:30pm-11:30pm; Sun, 11am-3:30pm and 5:30pm-10pm

Nearby Subway Stops

6 at Spring St.

Prices

$22-$32

Payment Methods

American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Special Features

  • Brunch - Weekend
  • Dine at the Bar
  • Good for Groups
  • Kid-Friendly
  • Lunch
  • Notable Chef
  • Take-Out
  • Online Reservation

Alcohol

  • Full Bar

Reservations

Recommended

Profile

Einat Admony, who serves what many consider to be the best falafel sandwich in town (at Taïm, in the West Village), calls her latest restaurant Balaboosta, which means “perfect housewife” in Yiddish. The white-brick walls of the storefront space, in Nolita, are lined with family photos and rows of cookbooks, all designed to convey the Israeli-born chef’s personal, even motherly, sense of comfort, practicality, and home. Admony’s idea of home-style cooking, however, is slightly different from yours and mine. It includes bowls of crispy fried cauliflower drizzled with pine nuts and currants, and toasty slabs of bruschetta heaped with smoked eggplant or wedges of fresh burrata cheese. Ask for shrimp and it comes wrapped in phyllo and dressed in a creamy sauce speckled with flying-fish roe. Ask for soup and you will get a cooling gazpacho sweetened by two kinds of melon (cantaloupe and honeydew) and bits of almond brittle.

Admony, who cooked in many highbrow kitchens around the city before opening Taïm, can do all sorts of imaginative things in her kitchen. The exceptionally tender house chicken is cooked under a brick, in the Mediterranean style, and served with a salad of grilled corn and fava beans, plus a pot of fresh-made gremolata on the side. Lamb loin is arranged elegantly on the plate just like at fancy restaurants uptown (only here it’s wrapped in Swiss chard), and the “spicy” skirt steak is one of the better new versions of the old-fashioned dish you’ll find in this steak-saturated town. Balaboosta is a popular restaurant, so the service can be brusque. But the desserts have a soothing effect, especially the Malabi milk custard, which is a kind of melting, Middle Eastern version of panna cotta flavored with orange blossoms.

Ideal Meal

Crispy cauliflower or shrimp Kataïf, house chicken, Malabi custard.

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