If the chef's pink Vespa is parked outside Bar Bolonat, you know that Einat Admony is in the kitchen.
Inside, you can see her finishing plates of creamy Japanese eggplant ($11) with threads of orange zest and marjoram and crowning heaps of delicate, house-made couscous ($17) with meltingly soft pieces of beef cheek.
Admony, who was born in Israel to Yemeni and Iranian parents, is the restaurateur who brought great falafel to New York with Taïm, and later Yemeni pizza with Balaboosta. Her newest place in the West Village is small, stylish and very easy to enjoy.
She slices her version of the popular Israeli snack Bamba--a peanut-buttery puff--to cobble fried cauliflower and peanut tahini ($9). It is crunchier, nuttier and way more delicious than cauliflower ever gets the chance to be. If there are more than two people at your table, you'll want to order two of these.
Admony also applies tahini to crème brûlée ($11), that tired, fuddy duddy of a dessert. You've probably forgotten that when cooked properly, it can be immensely satisfying: The shell of sugar on top, veil thin, breaks delicately and dissolves on the tongue, and the almost smoky tahini makes the custard taste full and buttery.
She does the same for a plain old roasted bird, reminding you how great it can be when it's done right. The whole poussin ($32)--stunning, juicy, deeply colored--rests on a bed of crisp turmeric-stained rice and soft, salty potatoes. With it, you're issued a serrated knife. In an age of ready-to-eat roast chickens for two, carefully disassembled, it's a treat to work a little for your meat.
And don't worry. Even if you've never taken apart a bird like this, you'll figure it out--Admony's cooking is too good to let any go to waste.
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