If you are an Upper West Sider you probably already know about Bustan, an excellent Israeli Mediterranean restaurant serving up some of the best food in town. This past November they shut down because of a devastating kitchen fire, but today they are back in business – and business is good!
The kitchen is led by Executive Chef Eli Buliskeria and Pastry Chef Shir Rozenblat. Chef Buliskeria worked with Chef Victor Gloger at Choelys in Tel Aviv before meeting his mentor Chef Yonatan Roshfeld from Herbert Samuelat the Ritz-Carlton, Herzliya.
Pastry Chef Rozenblat graduated from Israel’s Estella Master Class in Pastry, Chocolate & Bakery and has worked with Celebrity Chef Raffi Cohen at Raphael in Tel Aviv.
Most items on the menu are designed to be shared between guests, inspiring a traditional family-style dining experience. Almost everything is cooked in their custom hand-built wood-fired brick ‘taboon‘, a Middle Eastern oven that has a 360-degree rotating base.
Start off with some cocktails and their delicious homemade bread right out of the oven, with house made hummus with pure roasted sesame and tahini imported from Nazareth, Israel.
My girlfriend and I chose the Market Tomatoes, the crudo, and the Roasted Octopus for our starters. The crudo was amazing! It was so fresh and flavorful, I could have just eaten that all night. The roasted octopus was equally delicious, as were the tomatoes. It all paired very well together.
For our main courses we asked our server Bob for his recommendations, and although he recommended everything on the menu, he particularly recommended the Fish Chraimeh, which my girlfriend chose and was delicious.
I ordered their Housemade Couscous with a Moroccan Vegetable stew. I’m a sucker for couscous, as I served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco many years ago. It’s been quite some time since I’ve had such delicious couscous. I really enjoyed it and so will you!
To end our fiesta we ordered the Kisses, baked vanilla meringue, chantilly cream, raspberry sorbet, and mixed berries, and the Nemesis, baked chocolate mousse, salted caramel, caramelia pearls, and ice cream, along with two cappuccinos. A perfect way to end the evening.
Everything was delicious and the restaurant was warm and cozy inside. Definitely ask for Bob to be your server. Although he looks like a Dothraki warrior from Essos, he’s really nice. If you can guess where he’s really from, he might just give you a free drink!
– Michael Riegelman
487 Amsterdam Avenue
at W. 84th Street
Shabbat Dinner: Bustan will be offering catering for Shabbat dinners featuring items from their menu, so guests can celebrate with their families at home.
Outdoor Patio Dining: Bustan features a lovely outdoor garden with wooden tables andchairs shaded by umbrellas perfect for spring and summer al fresco dining.
Photos via Bustan and by Socially Superlative