Balaboosta (n.)(bah-lah-b00-sta) A Yiddish term meaning the perfect housewife, homemaker, wonderful mother, cook, and gracious hostess. She does it all and does it well.  My Mom used to call me a balaboosta.  I love the saying so how could I not dine at Balaboosta?

A really comfy room.  Simple and warm with wooden tables throughout and a small bar in front.  The kitchen sits to the right of the restaurant when you peer in the window from the street.  You can literaly stand outside and watch the kitchen operate.  It is inviting. 

The people behind Balaboosta also own Taim, a mobile bus serving falafel, hummus, salads and smoothies.  The picture of the woman in Balaboosta must be the Grandma of the family when she was a young girl.  Just guessing. 

We started with a cocktail at the bar while we waited for our friends.  Mika is the drink in the wine glass which is made of aperol, prosecco and club soda.  The other is called Matilda a mixture of aperol, lillet and a small shot of orange soda.  Matilda was mine.  Really nice.

We shared all of our appetizers and then each ordered a main course.  To start they give you a bowl of spicy shrimp toast with a dip on the side.  I am a huge fan of shrimp toast and these were good.  Crunchy with just a nice shot of spice.

Our first appetizer out was a fluke ceviche mixed with pomegranate, pistachios and lime.  A beautiful presentation and really well prepared.  The fluke was fresh and I loved the acid of the pomegranate and lime on the fish mixed together with the crunch of the pistachios. 

Crispy cauliflower mixed with pine nuts and currants.  I am a big fan of the currants.  They just bring a little touch of sweetness to the dish which works really well with cauliflower.

Grilled pizza with a carrot puree, caramelized onions, goat cheese and a few sprigs of cilantro.  So different.  Just goes to show you can put anything on a pizza crust and make it taste good.  Loved the carrot puree. 

This shirmp is one of their signature dishes.  Shrimp wrapped in shredded phyllo dough, deep fried and then with a flying fish roe sauce over the top.  Crunchy and so tasty also the presentation is really nice. 

For the main courses two of us went for the whole branzino.  One of my favorite whole fishes.  Beautifully prepared and simple. 

Fred had the special halibut.  Roasted halibut served on top a leek and pea puree and red kale.  I love the combination of vegetables in the puree.  They are innovative with the veggies here. 

I had the lamb.  Grilled lamb chops covered in a persian lime sauce with beets, orange slices mixed in a arugula salad with a potato latke. 

For dessert we split an intense chocolate mousse.

I thought the favorite was the berry crumble.  I kept going back for more 

Loved Balaboosta.  Totally mellow.  Great vibe.  Good service.  The food was really good and creative yet simple.  I was a little concerned before we went that there might be lots of garlic in the food but if there was they prepared the food using garlic as an accent not as the main ingredient.  I didn't taste any garlic.  Looking forward to returning. 

Comments (Archived):

  1. Sunchowder

    Gosh I loved this review….I haven’t heard the word Balaboosta for such a long time, thanks for bringing back the memories for me. 

  2. Rohan

    Nice work balaboosta 🙂

    1. Gotham Gal


  3. Jeff

    I remember going to Balaboosta when it first opened and enjoying the food, but recall the pricing was a little expensive.  Of course, back then the menu consisted more of a mezze list, without all the fish and other meat dishes.  If you don’t mind, what was the price range for the dinner (for 4 people?)? 

  4. kirklove

    Been for lunch a few times since it’s so close to work. Always underwhelmed. Looks like dinner is the time to go though.

  5. ellen

    the shrimp wrapped in phyllo and the lamb chops look soooo good.

  6. daryn

    Love the name!

  7. awaldstein

    I’m a big fan and we go there often. Never been disappointed.As a natural wine aficionado, the wine list is usually excellent. All natural wines.  Small. Changes a lot. Low mark-ups.And the best is that the owner/manager really knows each bottle well. I grill them hard and both the answers and the wine have been excellent.Love this place. Also like that the waiters speak Hebrew and Imy girlfriend does the ordering and banters with them. Adds a spark to it.

    1. Gotham Gal

      I love that the waiters speak Hebrew….no yiddish?

      1. awaldstein

        Not to my knowledge.  Lot’s of Israeli’s on the staff it seems.And talking about Israelis, been going to 12 Chairs for Israeli salad and Matzo Ball soup forever. Hyper local. Great spot.

        1. Gotham Gal

          have not been to 12 chairs…will stop in for lunch.

  8. ShanaC

    ooo, I need to take a friend here who will crack up with me over food and the word balabusta

    1. Gotham Gal

      exactly. happy thanksgiving shana.

      1. ShanaC

        you too!

  9. jonathanc

    I had noticed Balaboosta last summer while killing time waiting to eat at Torrisi. We finally got there last night. The food was excellent. We shared calamari and the daily ceviche…and ended up ordering an extra ceviche!  I had the lamb shank special, which was fantastic. Others had the branzino, which looked as beautiful as it does in your photo, and (I think) red snapper. The deserts were a little weak (we had the fruit crumble and a mousse) but overall the meal and service were great. There were enough things on the menu that we really liked, but didn’t have, to make me want to return soon. PS: I looked inside Parm, the Torrisi sibling, and thought it could be fun.

    1. Gotham Gal

      parm has some killer sandwiches. go back for lunch.