Saturday, March 27, 2010

Balaboosta - Israeli tapas in a warm place

If Shira told her grandmothers in Israel she was preparing a home cooked meal for guests or making up a guest bedroom with clean sheets, she would say Shira was a "balaboosta" -meaning someone who was  making my home cozy and welcoming.  That's exactly the kind of atmosphere Einat Admony creates at her new restaurant in soho by the same name.

From the moment we spoke to a maƮtre d' who called to confirm our reservation on Saturday, we felt welcome. Because the liquor license hadn't been taken care of he suggested we bring our own bottle of wine to enjoy.
We were greeted with a fabulous brushetta compliments of the chef and a friendly server who immediately brought us glasses, water and a giant smile, despite our being the last reservation of what was clearly a busy night.

The decor is  simple, modern but warm.  White bricks, somewhat open kitchen with  window facing Brome.  Cozy round booths and wooden tables created the atmosphere of what you'd expect to bfind in the home of a New York balaboosta - no tablecloths here.

Deciding to do sharable stuff rather than full-on entrees, we started with the fried olives with labne (pictured above)-- sounds weird but the warm crispy with the cool yogurt- and the elegant skewer sticks were a blast.

The only shock came in the bathroom, when we were attacked with the bright purple light of what felt like a tanning bed without the goggles.  

214 Mulberry St @ Spring

Go there if...your Israeli friend is visiting New York and you're a step above falafel.
Great for...light stuff
Not so great for...big groups - the biggest tables can comfortably sit 6.

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