From a chef at hot Israeli newcomer Nur comes a new Mediterranean restaurant in Murray Hill called Basta that pulls influences from all sides of the Mediterranean, combining ingredients and dishes from Morocco, North Africa, Turkey, France, and Italy on an all-kosher menu.
Located at 62 East 34th St., between Madison and Park avenues, Basta — the Hebrew word for the long tables stacked with produce at Israeli markets (and “enough” in Italian) — comes from owner and executive chef Raz Shabtai, a Nur vet who brings clear influences from the Gramercy Israeli restaurant to his menu. Some food is served in baskets lined with newspaper like the Jerusalem bagel at Nur, or propped up like Nur’s lamb pitas.
Dishes include “the Tunisian,” or thinly sliced dough stuffed with branzini and sea bass next to a potato-, sunchoke-, and egg-filled burik and salad, all in that newspaper-lined basket. The “wizard of Marrakesh” is a plate of pasta shaped like wizard hats and stuffed with tbeha (Jewish-Algerian stew) in a sage butter bouillabaisse. For dessert, there’s malabi, an Israeli milk pudding with pistachio cream, rose water, cardamom, cinnamon, coconut, and raw tahini. The full menu is below.
The room has a five-seat chef’s counter, a 36-seat main dining room, and a small semi-private dining area. Basta, which is still waiting on its liquor license, is open for lunch Monday through Thursday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. and for dinner Monday through Thursday from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Sunday from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.