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About Permanently Closed - Balkanika
This restaurant is permanently closed. Specializing in Balkan & Mediterranean Foods, Wines, and Beers, Balkanika offers a little bit of the old and the new:creative tapas spreads and healthy vegetarian & vegan dishes, hearty old-world recipes, bureks & kebabs, home-made yogurt and some unique creations besides. Enjoy a glass of wine by candlelight, or grab a sandwich and meze spreads to take out. Party Trays are available, as well as Private Parties, International Groceries, Gourmet Coffee Beans, Imported Meats & Cheeses.
New York, NY 10036
Mediterranean, Tapas / Small Plates, Eastern European
Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Monday - Sunday: 11:00am - 4:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Sunday: 4:00pm - 11:00pm
Between 47th & 48th St
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Party Trays: Pickup and Delivery
A, C, E to 50th/8th
N, R to 49th/7th
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Delivery, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, High Tea, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Balkanika - Permanently Closed Ratings and Reviews
I went to this place based on the reviews but I honestly don't know how it got such good reviews. Not one thing was good, everything was tasteless and meh. The humus was terrible, the pita wasn't great, the salad was just oil and I asked for lemon and they never brought me any. Our waitress barely came around.
Seven of us ate around 9 PM on a Saturday after an off, off Broadway show. We were seated in the bar area so it was noisy but the food and service were great. The $25 appetizer plate (especially the beets with hazelnut) and the trout were among our favorites. A nice find.
My wife and I had a late afternoon lunch in the (sadly, for them) nearly empty restaurant. Everything we ordered was terrific--even the Macedonian red wine! Our particular favorite was the roasted zucchini. It was amazing, and I usually hate zucchini! The cheese bourek and the moussaka were also outstanding. And, to end the meal it really is "hats off" to the "Russian hat."
The food was very good. My friend and I split a mezze platter and some small plates and it was filling - though we definitely saved room for the delicious baklava at the end! Excellent bottle of wine for a reasonable price. The service was good, though we started to feel pushed out towards the end of the meal even though there were plenty of empty tables available. Otherwise, excellent spot for a night out.
I chose this restaurant because it's one of the few in Manhattan that have beef Cevapcici on the menu. Cevapcici are finger-sized, casing-free "sausages" that are well-spiced with lots of onion, garlic and black and white pepper and served with raw onions on the side along with some bread that is fluffy and tender on the inside and crispy on the outside. The bread was good, but the cevapcici were bland and there was no onion on the side. We also tried all of the mezes, which were also bland.
The service was also sub-standard, as I could even find wait staff to ask for onions. I'm not a fan of wait staff that is too intrusive, but here, they were really hard to find, even when we were waiting for the check and waiting to pay. When they dropped off our assortment of mezes, they just dropped them off without explaining which was which.
Ambience was simple and in line with the style of the food. Comfortable. Food was good, satisfying. Only problem was the service. Inattentive. My husband and I had to ASK for the dessert menu: who lets the customer do that? But when being served, the server was pleasant.
We are here on Christmas Day and the staff was excellent. Our table was ready when we arrived and we got a seat near the window. The place is very small but it still worked well for two adults and three kids.
Lots of choices and the food came out in a very reasonable time. The staff was very attentive.
I took my parents here for a pre-show holiday dinner - I worked in restaurants for a long time, so I am very picky about the dining experience, and seating especially. I went in person to the restaurant two weeks prior to request a specific table. The host wrote it down and assured me we could have the one I requested. When we arrived for our reservation, they sat us at another table that was much more in the "traffic" of the restaurant - without an explanation. I complained to the host, who didn't really apologize, but instead blamed it on being busy. I told her that was no excuse and we were not happy. Then, although the spread sampler was very good and the Montepulciano was a good glass - our server was a dead fish. She had no personality, barely smiled, and did not try to make herself heard. In my opinion the main courses are overpriced - the trout had bones in it, and came with very scanty sides - three brussels sprouts to be exact, which were overcooked. That shouldn't be $20. They didn't comp us for anything (which, in all my years hosting and serving, you always comp if the customer is unsatisfied with something).....and didn't leave us with well wishes. I wanted to like this place, and have been here before - I would come back with friends, when my expectations are lower, for wine and apps - but I would not come here again for a nice family meal.
This was just ok, nothing special. We've had some fabulous Middle Eastern meals in NY, chose this one because we could get a reservation before a play. There wasn't a single dish that stood out, though nothing terrible either. Server was very nice, didn't rush us to order when we wanted to wait for our friend.
I picked this restaurant pretty much at random because it was a reasonable distance from where we were all gathering at another event and because it looked like the kind of place that could accommodate a large group (8). It was pretty good, but the service was oddly slow given how few people were there (it was a Monday night). We had the Macedonian wine which was so so frankly, and overpriced for what it was, but the food was very good. We had a very pleasant evening.
This restaurant closes its reservations before dinner service and did not honor the reservation I made at 5pm for 6:30pm. They transcribed all the reservations to a loose leaf paper and would t seat is even though it looked like there were tables available.
I had a hankering for some Med food while I was staying in Manhattan and Balkanika came through. It's a few blocks distant from Times Square so the people going to eat there didn't likely stumble upon it by accident. The server missed my order of hummus, but quickly fixed that and didn't charge for it on the bill. The pita bread and baklava were outstanding. I'm not a wine snob but the pinot grigio I had with the meal paired up nicely.
Not recommended for a pre-theater dinner. We arrived at 6:40PM and told the waiter we needed to make an 8PM show. The restaurant was not full, but by 7:30 not even our appetizers (which were premade and sitting in a glass enclosed display case) had been served to us. After food arrived at 7:40 we wolfed it down. Quality was okay but hard to judge when one eats that fast. Waiter was sympathetic and offered us a free glass of wine, but of course we had no time to accept it.
The mixed grill platter for two we had was very tasty and the Macedonian red wine rather good. At $75 for two, the dinner was a decent value, especially in the theatre district.
However, peaceful it was not. Two tv's showing two different programs plus radio blaring Brazilian (!) tunes made the place feel a bit hectic and chaotic.
Our waitress was probably having a bad day. She did her job but with a visible lack of enthusiasm and nary a smile. We felt like we were waited upon by a sulky teenager who had been ordered to do an unpleasant chore.
My husband and I dined here before the theater, based on a Zagat review. We ordered a variety of dishes, most of which were disappointing (some under seasoned). The zucchini pancakes were oddly mushy and not very flavorful, the Greek salad was drowning in cheese, the spinach burek was kind of tough - which phyllo dough should never be, and had little spinach in it. The only dish we enjoyed was the sausage, which was spicy and flavorful. All of the dishes were served at the same time (barely fitting on the table). We had told our waitress that we were going to the theatre, but that we had 1 hour and 20 minutes to dine. I don't know why she served everything at once. Dishes got cold while they sat on our table. A request to hold one dish was not honored for more than about 5 minutes.
Overall we felt that the food was mediocre and the service wanting. We will probably not return.
The best thing at Balkanika is the Meze choice- we selected 6 different preparations, and we enjoyed every one of them, served with pita bread and a crisp cracker option. I can't even pick which one was best! The entrée selection included 2 fresh fish selections and some regional specialties, all which we enjoyed. Pricing is very good. There was both a savory and sweet fondue option that we didn't try but thought would be very good post theater. Very close to the theater district.
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