NYC’s Balaboosta: From Strength to Strength

Walk. Eat. Shop. Repeat.  This is my mantra for a three-day weekend in NYC with a girlfriend. Late Saturday afternoon we head to Nolita to browse through the boutiques.  Despite being reservation-less, we hope to snag a table at Balaboosta. Is this chutzpah, or the way most people go with the flow when it comes to dining? We’ll see.

Balaboosta is a Yiddish term meaning “the perfect housewife. ” The restaurant is created by husband-and-wife team Chef Einat Admony and Stefan Nafziger.  The Mediterranean menu is inspired by Admony’s Israeli roots.  I’ve often recommended Balaboosta to friends, but have never dined here.  It’s time to put my money where my mouth is.

We stop by the casually cozy restaurant at close to 7:30 on a Saturday night.  There is one table still available. I experience an adrenaline rush, the kind that most people associate with far more adventurous acts.

Crispy cauliflower with lemon,​ currants, and pine nuts is the first indication that my euphoric state is justified.  (Although, the pop-up shop we discover right before dinner is also a contributor to my mood.) Bold, crisp, and slightly sweet, this is a dish that beckons me back for one more bite… again and again.
Crispy Cauliflower

Crispy Cauliflower

Market salad with baby kale, asparagus, sugar peas, cashews, and apple vinaigrette is distinguished by the natural flavors of the fresh ingredients. It’s bright. healthy, and absolutely guilt-free.
Market salad

Market salad

Yemenite pizza with shaved fennel, caramelized onion, feta, and arugula keeps the momentum going in this consistently high quality meal.
Yemenite pizza

Yemenite pizza

Grilled lamb chops with Persian lime and tahini sauce, wild mushrooms, kale, and pine nuts is Mediterranean manna.  I delight in the garlicky sauce accenting the perfectly grilled chops.  A hint of lime balances the dish.  The generous portion means I’ll have just enough to enjoy a light dinner on the journey home.
grilled lamb

grilled lamb

A balaboosta is defined as more than just a “perfect housewife.”  It is also someone who “gives strength or provides sustenance to a family.”  As our meal at Balaboosta progresses, Chef Admony goes from strength to strength, twisting familiar Mediterranean flavors to exhibit creative culinary flair.  She’s a balaboosta who we can all appreciate.

Balaboosta, 214 Mulberry Street, New York, NY
New York Times review (Sam Sifton, 2010)

Balaboosta on Urbanspoon


  1. debbie pollack says

    This sounds so yummy. Is it possible to take it in when we’re in NYC in July?

  2. Debbie- it is possible. will keep it in mind.

  3. I vote with Debbie! I would love to try this when we are in NYC. Everything sounds delish.

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