Balade in the East Village is known for its family-style Mezze, or shareable plates. Chef/Owner Roland Semaan is a native of Beirut, Lebanon whose life as child of a diplomat, who held elaborate parties, and his grandmother’s cooking sparked his interest in cooking. He opened Balade in 2010 to introduce New Yorkers to Lebanese cuisine.
The meal begins plates of hummus, chickpea puree with tahini livened with lemon, bab ghanouj mad with char-grilled eggplant, and mouhmara made with spicy red peppers, walnuts and pomegranate. Hot appetizers include char-grilled chicken wings marinated in a special spice blend for 24 hours and Kebbe Kras, Lebanon’s national dish, made with lean beef, cracked wheat, onion and pine nuts.
Larger plates bring char-grilled lamb chops with rice and grilled vegetables, grilled branzino marinated in lemon with tahini sauce, and jumbo shrimp served with a yogurt sauce and toasted pita. The Supreme Mixed Grill offers a combination of four meats and grilled vegetables meant for sharing. Balade also offers Manakeesh, a Lebanese style pizza served seven ways. Desserts include baklava and mouhallabie, a milk pudding topped with ground pistachios and homemade syrup.
The indoor space at Balade features exposed brick, Arabesque tiles and a unique wall feature made of wood made from the cedars of Lebanon. Outdoor seating is also available.
Balade also operates a grab-and-go concept called, Balade Your Way, in the Fashion District (144 West 37th St) offering lamb kebabs, house-made sausages, meat & spinach pies, falafel, and more.
Balade is located at 208 First Avenue, East Village, NY (212) 529-6868
For more information, visit www.baladerestaurants.com