Last Friday night was date night; a very important tradition, especially for newlyweds. Funny enough, halfway through dinner, my husband and I realized we had been married exactly six months ago. It made the evening even more special, but the star of the night was really the restaurant: Balaboosta. Located in Nolita, this upscale Mediterranean restaurant offers creative home-style dishes with flavors I could never recreate at home. The room is warm and cozy with family photos on the walls and menus that make you feel like you’re in the chef’s own house. Even though it’s a popular place, the room is on the quiet side, which is a rarity in NYC. It’s perfect to come to with a large group of friends and share small plates or for an intimate dinner. The candlelit room made it the perfect setting for our romantic evening out. But let’s get to the most important part of the evening: the food. My husband and I are major foodies and Mediterranean food has become a favorite of ours. What really stood out in the evening were the small plates. I would have been just as happy only ordering the appetizers. From the hummus with roasted garlic and chickpeas made table side, the fluffy spiced pita bread, to the crispy cauliflower with currants and pine nuts, I was already in food heaven. But really what made the meal so memorable was the spicy mouthwatering shrimp bruschetta. Our entrees were very good, but when they came, I wasn’t as hungry as I would’ve liked to been. But that is the charm of this homey restaurant. You don’t need to be structured with your meal. You should want to embrace the family style ambiance by sharing and trying all of the creatively delicious plates. I highly recommend this charming eatery not only for its delicious food but also for the eclectic wine list and reasonable prices.
Located: 214 Mulberry Street
Hummus “Mortar and Pestle” with tahini, roasted garlic, za’atar pita
Crispy Cauliflower with currants & pine nuts
Shrimp Bruschetta with roasted tomatoes and chorizo