Review: Balaboosta, Little Italy, New York, USA


This post is one chapter in our trip to New York City via Cathay Pacific First Class. This trip was booked using American Airlines AAdvantage miles and Starwood Preferred Guest points. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Review: Balaboosta, Little Italy, New York, USA

We happened upon Balaboosta because I saw it on our walk through of Little Italy and it happened to be Zagat rated. That doesn’t mean much in itself but it turned out to be a great choice.

The chef originally hailed from Israel and had appeared on Throw Down with Bobby Flay and had won “Chopped”. She is presently running three New York restaurants (Balaboosta, Taim / Taim mobile and Bar Boonat). It’s sometimes a challenge to get a good middle eastern meal aside from the Falafel stand but Balaboosta easily delivered. The menu featured “Mediterranean meets Middle East” and featured weekly specials with local seasonal ingredients.

The décor of the restaurant is in small quarters. It had a comfortable, neighborhood vibe. It had an aura of chic and “hot” and popular restaurant visited by locals.

The menu had some original items on it. After spending a lot of time in restaurants, menus tend to look a little, the same after a while. Everyone seems to be chasing the same food trends. I’m happy to report that Balaboosta was much different. Here’s the actual menu

And ones from the Balaboosta Website if the actual one is a little hard to read

For the main, I went with lamb tahini with chantrelles and green Persian lime and thanin sauce with kale and pine nuts. The lamb was perfectly cooked and delicately seasoned.

It was paired with white Bordeaux (Sauvingon Blanc – 33%, Muscadelle – 32% and Semillon 34% blend). Okay, I know this doesn’t go with lamb, but who can turn down white Bordeaux? MrsWT73 was also having the boneless organic half chicken “under a brick”. It received rave reviews for both the taste and the cooking delivery.

The Bottom Line:

Overall, it was a terrific atmosphere here. There is something to be said for smaller bistro style dining versus the large format scale of Spice Market. The check was reasonable of $141 USD with two entrees and a bottle of wine. With an 8:45 PM reservation, we were the last cover for the evening. We would easily return. We ended up walking away with the cookbook as well and also found it worthwhile, good tasting endeavour.

Balaboosta
214 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012, United States

Date of Visit May 2014


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