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