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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Balaboosta





What is a Balaboosta?


Balaboosta (n.)(bah-lah-b00-sta) A Yiddish term meaning the perfect housewife, homemaker, wonderful mother, cook, and gracious hostess. She does it all and does it well.

Last Thursday my Dad came to visit for a long weekend. After a great lunch with my coworkers and Oliver my Dad and I went to Equinox to workout. I was dragging him to Amy Amato's spin class. He's heard all about it for over a year now I figured he needed to check it out himself. 

After our hard work we decided we needed to treat ourself to some delicious food.  And that we did. Amy, my Dad and I checked out the new restaurant Balaboosta.  I chose this restaurant because it is between my apartment and Equinox. So, about 2 blocks away from each. And boy, are we glad we did! 

When we first walked in they were so welcoming and had no problem seating us even though Amy wasn't there yet. Unlike most restaurants who won't until the entire party is there. So we sat in a large round corner booth and ordered a pitcher of white sangria. We decided on the white because the server described it as crisp and very refreshing, and after spin that is exactly what we needed. If you know me well, you know I am not a big drinker but, oh my gosh was this stuff good! We ended up having a second pitcher. 

When you first sit down there is a small bowl of chips with seasoning. I forgot what they were but they were something like a vegetable with amazing seasonings. There was also volcanic black salt from Hawaii that was amazing. I never salt things but I wanted to just because this salt had such a great smoky taste. 


The decor and ambiance of the restaurant was great. It had a very homey feeling that made you feel comfortable and relaxed. The atmosphere was calm and not too noisy. I loved the stained concrete floors, wood beam ceiling and brick walls. However, I probably would have left the brick exposed instead of painted. 


I love the pendant light fixtures above the bar along with the bar stools. Very industrial. My kinda style! I also love the exposed pipes, old fashioned shelves with glass bottles. I also loved the change of material with the ceramic tile on the wall and ceiling around the bar. 


Our server was very nice. Great at recommending dishes and amount of food for the table. Everything was delicious. We wanted to dine rather than rush. So we ordered a few shared plates to begin. 

We started with the Roasted Cauliflower with currants & pine nuts which was probably the best cauliflower we had all had. 

We got an order of the hummus as well.  It was like they made it right in front of you. That's how fresh it was! The home made bread was so moist and perfectly seasoned as well. It was wonderful! 


We also had an order of the Falafel wrapped Meatballs with green tahin. They were amazing.


For dinner I had the Butcher Steak with roasted sweet potato & cumin slaw. It was cooked perfectly and very tasty.  


Amy and my Dad were a little more adventurous, actually only compared to me, and they had the Civeche special of the day which was shrimp and the Mussels in harissa broth, Gr& Mariner, shallots & parsley. However, I did try both and the Mussels were actually good! I enjoyed the Ceviche as well! 


Amy had the Fettuccine which is not on the current menu below but it was amazing. The pasta noodles were flat but wide and the sauce was perfect! 

My Dad had the Grilled Whole Fish with seasonal greens. It was exactly that, a whole fish. It was cut in half and when you opened it up there were spices and greens inside.  They even de-boned it for him. He said it was absolutely delicious! 

Obviously we had dessert.  Amy got the dessert that is equivalent to a chocolate lava cake. Of course it was delicious. 


As everyone already knows I am not big of chocolate girl so I got the berry crumble with creme fresh. It was huge and amazing. When I am craving dessert I know where I am going to go from now on. 



MENU

SHARED PLATES
Pickles a variety of Balaboosta house made pickles 6
Spicy Nuts a selection of spicey nuts 5
Fried Olives with labne & harissa oil 5
Roasted Cauliflower with currants & pine nuts 6
Quinoa Salad dried cranberries, herbs & preserved lemon 8
Hummus Whole Garbanzo, Roasted Garlic 8
Shrimp Kataif, flying fish roe sauce 11
Falafel wrapped Meatballs with green tahini 9
Chicken Liver Mousse with daily confiture 8
Grilled Merguez, red pepper & corn relish 9


APPETIZERS
Sunchoke & Chestnut Soup with yogurt & nigella seeds 9
Mussels in harissa broth, Gr& Mariner, shallots & parsley 9
Smoked Eggplant with herb salad & silan 10
Dave’s Grilled Pizza carrot purée, caramelized 9
onions, goat cheese & cilantro Daily Ceviche 12
 Market Salad 9 

ENTREES
Bouillabaisse crab dumpling, saffron aioli 23
Pasta with calamata olives, cherry tomatoes & Ouzo 17
Grilled Whole Fish with seasonal greens 21
Butcher Steak with roasted sweet potato & cumin slaw 24
Boneless Half Chicken “under a brick” with paella 19
style barley, pine-nuts, apricots
Lamb Two Ways grilled lamb chops, & chard wrapped 26
tenderloin, with sunchoke purée & Persian lime sauce
Here are pictures of some of their other dishes that look fabulous! Trust me I will be going back soon. It was our best dinner during my Dad's trip! 







COCKTAILS
Bala 
White Wine, Apple, Cardamom, Lime 8

Boosta 
Red Wine, Orange, Cocoa, Spice 8

Tayer 
Lillet, Lemonade, Orange Blossom Water 8

Aromat 
Champagne, fresh pineapple, Sage leaf 8

Kush 
Champagne, Blackberry, Vanilla, Lemon 8

Balaboosta



214 Mulberry Street, New York NY 10012 (at Spring Street; map); 212-966-7366 
Service: Competent and brusquely friendly
Setting: Like a spacious, urbanized living room 
Must-Haves: Fried olives, shrimp kataïf, half-chicken 
Cost: Small sharing plates $5-9, entrees
in the $20-30 range
Grade: A-


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