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Vibrant Flavors at Boutros (Brooklyn, NY)

To be honest, I don’t schlep (meaning, make the long trip over) to Brooklyn Heights unless it’s worth it. What appealed to me to head over to Boutros has its unique take on Middle Eastern food and mesh it with Asian or Italian flavors – but it’s actually delicious. For example, miso baba ghanoush that’s smoky, nutty-toasty that has an undertone of spicy (from the togarashi), bittersweetness from the creamy roasted eggplant then served with the fluffy, fresh baked pita (that you can see their cook making it at their semi-open kitchen). It’s a mixture of rich flavors and mostly creamy textures that I don’t mind having just those two items almost every other night. Spring hummus was bright, vegetal and crunchy that tasted like early summer but wonderful in a pita. The short rib shawarma was a hit, especially for my dad who tends to be more carnivore than omnivore.

It’s really hard to pin what are the best dishes to eat there since there’s a lot of great things to eat. The most safest dish (as in solid but flavors aren’t too robust) was the fried calamari with shishito peppers. All of the other dishes we had, the flavors were fully punching on the palate.

Roasted Half Chicken ‘Kizbarah Ou Toum’, Smashed Fingerling Potatoes

I rarely order roast chicken from a restaurant but they did a pretty great job. According to Chef/Owner Alan, his staff brines the chicken for 12-24 hours, air-dry the chicken for a day so the excess water would drain and on the third day, that bird would be roasted. It’s a wonderfully moist, tender but not spongy chicken and the super bold cilantro-garlic sauce on top was bomb. (I hate cilantro but I would eat this because there’s equally robust flavors mixed in the sauce tempered down the cilantro.)

Bulgur Fried Rice, Soujouk, Egg, Scallion, Garlic-Ginger, Sweet Soy
The other dish that was interesting was the take on fried rice called Bulgur Fried Rice, Soujouk, Egg, Scallion, Garlic-Ginger, Sweet Soy. They don’t use white long grain rice like traditional Chinese custom goes. They soak bulgur wheat so texturally, it’s similar to rice and it absorbs flavors readily. They use soujouk, a Middle Eastern dry, spicy and fermented beef sausage (flavor-wise it tasted similar to chorizo than lap cheong 臘腸), and sear and render out its fat and cook the soaked bulgur wheat like a fried rice and its sauce was based on pomegranate molasses and dark soy sauce 老抽. Quite brilliant to bridge those flavors that taste familiar yet new.
Affogato, Turkish Coffee Ice Cream, Kataifi ‘Cookie’, Cacao Nibs, Espresso

If there’s a singular dessert to order, I highly recommend the affogato. Although my affogato tower toppled, shown on this photo, it was delicious. The espresso that’s poured on this dessert was equal parts robust, chocolate-y and smooth and that Turkish coffee ice cream that I would happily buy a pint or two from the restaurant, if they would sell it to me.

I wish this restaurant was closer to home but I’ll consider a trek. It’s literally next door to the grocery institution, Sahadi’s so maybe it’s not so difficult to head for a meal at Boutros then shop next door for my pantry needs. Anyway, I adore the food and would head back soon.

What we drank/ate:

  • Fresh made ginger lemonades
  • Brooklyn Sour cocktail
  • House made pita breads
  • Miso Baba Ganoush, Shichimi Togarashi, Furikake, Sesame Oil
  • Short Rib Shawarma, Hummus, Pickled Onion & Fresno Chili, Parsley
  • Spring Hummus – Asparagus, Peas, Preserved Lemon, Pickled Green Almond (loved the textures, vegetally sweet and savory flavors with a bit of sour from the green almond; taste of spring/summer)
  • Hen of the Woods, Sweet Tahini, Black Caraway, Sesame, Lime
  • Fried Calamari Blistered Shishito Peppers, Za’atar, Oregano, Garlic-Lemon Tahini
  • Roasted Half Chicken, Kizbarah Ou Toum, Smashed Fingerling Potatoes (Chef talked a big game about his roast chicken but it held up. Juicy, flavorful chicken without being spongy in texture because of brining and the cilantro-garlic based sauce was actually delicious (and I usually do not like cilantro)).
  • Beef Bavette, Bok Choy, Asparagus, Brown Sauce, Harissa with a side of Vermicelli Jasmine Rice (that rice was special; tasted like salted butter was mixed in it but Chef stated there’s no butter in his food except for his desserts. Just olive oil fried vermicelli and mix it in the jasmine rice! 🤯)
  • Pork Shank Al Pastor, Aleppo Pepper, Pickled and Fresh Pineapple, Zhoug, Fresh ‘Pita’ Tortilla
  • Mom’s knafeh with pistachio ice cream
  • Awamat Lebanese Doughnuts, Orange Blossom Ice Cream, Maple Syrup, Walnuts
  • Affogato – Turkish Coffee Ice Cream, Kataifi ‘Cookie’, Cacao Nibs, Espresso
Boutros (NYC)
21 photos
  • Beef Bavette, Bok Choy, Asparagus, Brown Sauce, Harissa, Vermicelli Jasmine Rice
  • Spread of mezzes and appetizers
  • Pork Shank Al Pastor,  Aleppo Pepper, Pickled and Fresh Pineapple, Zhoug, Fresh ‘Pita’ Tortilla
  • Roasted Half Chicken ‘Kizbarah Ou Toum’, Smashed Fingerling Potatoes
  • Fried Calamari Blistered Shishito Peppers, Za’atar, Oregano, Garlic-Lemon Tahini
  • Miso Baba Ganoush Shichimi Togarashi, Furikake, Sesame Oil
  • Spring Hummus  Asparagus, Peas, Preserved Lemon, Pickled Green Almond
  • Short Rib Shawarma Hummus Pickled Onion & Fresno Chili, Parsley
  • Dessert spread
  • Mom's Knafeh, Ashta, Kataifi, Pistachio Ice Cream
  • Awamat ‘Lebanese Doughnuts’, Orange Blossom Ice Cream, Maple Syrup, Walnuts
  • Affogato, Turkish Coffee Ice Cream, Kataifi ‘Cookie’, Cacao Nibs, Espresso
  • Bulgur Fried Rice, Soujouk, Egg, Scallion, Garlic-Ginger, Sweet Soy
  • Brooklyn Sour - Evan Williams Bourbon, Honey, Pinot Noir (float), Egg White
  • Hen of the Woods Sweet Tahini, Black Caraway, Sesame, Lime
  • Cook stretching pita dough
  • Kitchen bar seating
  • Interior of Btouros with a view of the semi-open kitchen with kitchen bar seating
  • Lovely bar area
  • Interior; view from the bar
  • Exterior of Boutros

Information:
Boutros

Website
185 Atlantic Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone: (718) 403-0055

Tina

I shoot, eat, and drink. My full time job is a hospital administrator. Moonlighting as a freelance photographer and food and travel writer.