Bustan: A Modern Israeli Gem

Bustan: A Modern Israeli Gem

By Pamela Jacobs.

Today, Israel is one of the world's top dining destinations. With culinary night markets and highly acclaimed restaurants that rival the best in the world, the country's food scene is on fire. And right here on Manhattan's Upper West Side, Tuvia Feldman and her restaurant, Bustan, are serving modern cuisine to match that of the country from which they take their inspiration.

As Feldman's partner, Executive Chef Jose Paulo Cortes produces dishes that impress on every level. Out of the restaurant's custom hand-built wood-fired rotating brick taboon emerge exceptional dishes. These include a moist-on-the-inside, crisp-on-the-outside whole branzino, infused with herbs, and thick, fluffy pita—the perfect vehicle for delivering smooth, housemade hummus that's made with pure roasted sesame paste imported from Nazareth, Israel.

Other standouts—drawing influence from multiple international cultures, much like Israel itself—include crispy, phyllo-dough wrapped soft egg burek on a Jerusalem artichoke with chestnut cream, chanterelle mushrooms, and truffle oil; squid a la plancha, served on thin pancakes of grilled polenta with matbucha; grilled hangar steak with tahini-baked potato and caramelized shallots; and lamb terracotta baked in a bread crust and cooked with charred onion, roasted tomato and peppers, sumac, oregano, tahini, and pine nuts. Desserts include unique spins on traditional Mediterranean sweets: for instance, a Turkish sundae topped with crisped rice, caramelized nuts, and shredded halva.

Inventive cocktails perfectly complement the cuisine, such a fig lemonade, made with house-infused fig vodka.

To match the colorful, flavorful, delightful food, the space pops with just the right amount of color, and a warm, inviting glow. There's a winterized garden, a sleek bar, and a sense of vibrant hospitality and a love of life that's exactly like the spirit of Israel.

For more information: bustannyc.com

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