The original Balaboosta was a popular Middle Eastern spot in Nolita, and it recently reopened in the old Bar Bolonat space in the West Village. We like some of the modern Israeli dishes here - like the creamy hummus and the cauliflower with peanut tahini - a lot, but we’ve found other things to be disappointing and overpriced (like octopus with overly salty lamb belly and chicken with too much pomegranate, which together will run you $50). If you stick to the small plates rather than the expensive entrees, then this place works well for groups or dates.
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Always packed Morandi in the West Village is a popular Girls’ Night Out spot serving Italian favorites. The porterhouse for two is amazing.
I Sodi serves excellent, classic Italian food and is a place where you’ll want to become a regular.
Toriko is a yakitori spot in the West Village that serves omakase menus focused on excellent grilled chicken skewers.
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Samesa is a small counter-service spot in Williamsburg that serves great Middle Eastern food.
A laid back Lebanese eatery that gets Stang’s stamp of approval. The service is good, people are friendly, and you can eat your face off for about twenty bucks a person.
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Miss Ada is a small, comfortable spot in Fort Greene with great Israeli food and an outdoor garden in the back.
A falafel sandwich at Taim is the best thing you can get in NYC for less than $10 and also theoretically eat daily without disastrous consequences.
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