Bar Bolonat Rating: 5.75
In our quest to create a betchy food guide that would bring to light some of the hot new spots for summer, we picked Bar Bolonat because we saw it on a few new trending lists but mostly because their food looks really great on instagram. It turned out to be pretty good, but not like, drop everything and go right now good. Don’t get us wrong, Bar Bolonat was a worthy meal, and maybe I’m being unfair because my expectations were extremely high, but it just didn’t live up to what I wanted.
The restaurant is by the creators of Balaboosta and Taim, and the cuisine is called “modern Israeli” so JABs should feel right at home. In reality the most “Israeli” thing about this place was that it had some random Hebrew on the wall, but our waitress and the hostess were both Asian. By far the biggest disappointment lay in the fact that I pretty much chose this restaurant so that we could try their chocolate filled falafel. But of course by the time we got there (like, less than a month after it opened), it was off the menu. Seriously crying emoji.
A laid back, mixed crowd. It’s kind of quiet and the seating is spacious (at least downstairs). It’s also not that big of a restaurant, and the bar takes up a lot of room upstairs. It’s not the easiest place to get a reservation, at least not while it’s trendy for the next few weeks.
Quiet, chill, you don’t want to talk too loud. The waiters are barely present.
Is the bread worth the carbs? There is no table bread, but you can order a Jerusalem bagel, which is good but you really only need like one bite. This was fine but would've been better if it had been the table bread instead of costing anything for fucking sesame seed bagel.
Is there a chance you’ll run into a celebrity? Nope, sorrz.
Is it instagram friendly? We sat downstairs where the lighting was dim, but if you sit upstairs the lighting is better. The food itself is very photogenic, which was a big part of why we went there on top of it getting good reviews. This isn't an absurd reason to go to a restaurant.
Shoe situation: Wearing heels here would be okay on the weekend but during the week I would wear flats, I probably wouldn't even do my hair.
Good for: Reminiscing on birthright, dinner with the parents, date night
Neighborhood: West Village
So. Fucking. Slow. Horrible food timing and the dishes were awkwardly spaced out. We also wish they brought us new plates, at least once, but nope, same plate for the beef cheek as for the smoky tahini eggplant with no consideration as to whether or not those flavors will taste good from the same plate. Like NO THANKS. We also got the spices from the bagel all over and no one seemed to give a shit.
Cauliflower – Our favorite dish and the one that really left an impression. It was dressed in this really good lemon-y tahini with small bits of Bamba (the Israeli snack that is kind of like a peanut butter cheese doodle except not gross). This is the only dish I would really want to have again.
Japanese Eggplant – This was pretty good. The smoky flavor combined with the tahini was interesting, and the crispy garlic on top was a great touch. I guess I would eat this again too.
Grilled Baby Artichokes – This was just okay; it tasted like any normal artichoke dish. The pistachios and tahini were good, but the dish didn’t feel put together. In terms of the appetizers we ordered, Bar Bolonat’s main talent was really just mixing something flavorful with tahini and calling it sauce.
Roasted chicken – This dish was a whole baby chicken and was really amazing. It was done perfectly but the best part had to be that it was sitting on a bed of crispy rice, and under the crispy rice was a thin layer of potatoes that were burnt on one side from the bottom of the pan. It was like mini Thanksgiving except better because there was no awkward future plans convo required with your plump aunt.
Grilled Dorade – Also had clams on top, randomly. Would you like some fish with your fish? It tasted fishy, because fucking duh. Skip this shit.
Hand-cut Pasta – It was housemade, and it looks (and photographs) way better than it tastes. It was spicy but somehow not that tempting. The sauce was a weird, almost nonexistent consistency. You’d probably have to try it to get what I’m saying, but that would never be worth the carbs.
Beef cheek – Loved this, it was so soft and the couscous was memorable. Definitely order.
Gluten Free Options
Fresh chickpeas, grilled baby artichokes, Japanese eggplant, asparagus (with no breadcrumbs), green fatoush, everyday cauliflower (no Bamba), shrimp (without the sauce), dorade, steak, lamb
Chocolate sufganiyot – Aka donuts, for all the non-JABs. These were really good, very light. But probably not as good as the chocolate falafel looked which we would show you but that would just be mean.
611 Hudson St
New York, NY 10014
Phone: (212) 390-1545