Everything Wonderful at Nur
The block of East 20th Street between Park Avenue and Broadway has always been a favorite of mine. The beautiful Gramercy Tavern has been there for ages and newer restaurants like Barbounia, Fusco and ever crowded Sugarfish have really made this block a culinary Disneyland. The newest restaurant to pop up on this street is Middle Eastern gem Nur. A place so tiny its easy to miss just walking by but quite possibly the best restaurant on the entire block.
Nur was opened by Gadi Peleg of Breads Bakery and Israli star Chef Meir Andoni. When I first saw the menu online I knew I absolutely had to come and try out one of my favorite dishes from our last London trip the Jerusalem Bagel.
This warm pretzel like roll was very similar to the one we had at The Barbary but with a fluffier texture studded with sesame seeds and served with a delicious za'atar and lima bean messbaha. I love this bagel; it puts all other regular NYC bagels to shame with its cracly exterior and warm cloudlike innards.
Of course a bread that large needs more than just a small sauce for dipping and if there's one dish every table absolutely must get at Nur it should be the Smoked Eggplant Carpaccio.
I am not a huge eggplant fan; I'm extremely picky when it comes to this vegetable but this dish was incredible. The eggplant was roasted over a fire then served with feta, raw tahini, dates, pistachio and rose water. The result is a creamy, smokey dish with deep rich flavors that I honestly can't even explain. I just know that Mr. T and I barely spoke while eating this dish and polished off the entire thing in minutes.
To round out the meal some grilled pitas stuffed with chucks of lamb kebob and served alongside pickled vegetables.
The wine list is almost all Middle Eastern which I don't know anything about but the bartender was more than happy to give us a taste of three different wines before we decided upon a light bodied Syrah from Morocco.
Nur is just incredible. The food was exciting, the service was excellent and the whole space had a fun, lively feel. I've been dreaming of that bagel and eggplant ever sine we last dined there and I can't wait to dive in again. Neighborhood dining has never been so good :)
34 East 20th Street
New York, NY 10003