Bar Bolonat: A Global Take on Israeli Food in the West Village

At Bar Bolonat, Chef Einat Admony sets out to do something groundbreaking with modern Israeli cooking. The result, Chowhounds say, is appealing and sometimes surprising food that seems to come from a place you'd be hard-pressed to find on a map.

It wasn't until halfway into his dinner, sam1 writes on Chowhound, that he was served a dish that tasted Middle Eastern as he knows it: a rich, well-seasoned tagine of beef cheek with almonds, herbs, and house-made couscous. But Admony—in her follow-up to the popular Taïm falafel shops and pan-Mediterranean restaurant Balaboosta—is staking out wider turf, drawing on Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jewish traditions as well as cuisines she's encountered in previous kitchen gigs: Austrian, Spanish, Italian, Latin American.

Turkey shawarma is rolled taco-style with onion and tart pickled-mango amba in tortillas flavored with cumin and nigella. Admony also loves Thai food, an influence you might discern in a mild, coconut-enriched "Yemenite" curry with shrimp.

Among other 'hound-recommended dishes are hand-cut pasta with garlic, ricotta, and chile; grilled artichokes with pistachios and yogurt; and a spin on a Jerusalem street snack: a light, warm bagel with house-made za'atar and good olive oil for dipping. Some 'hounds are skeptical, though, about a dessert "falafel" of chocolate ganache covered with coconut and chickpeas, served with crème anglaise and basil salsa. "I love my falafels and chocolates," Ziggy41 says, "but I want them to have as much distance as possible from each other."

Bar Bolonat [West Village]
611 Hudson Street (at W. 12th Street), Manhattan
212-390-1545

Photo by Quentin Bacon / Chef Einat / Facebook