Bustan on the Upper West Side makes for the perfect Brunch spot
For the last four years, Bustan (487 Amsterdam Avenue) has brought the flavors from Southern Europe, Western Asia and North Africa to the Upper West Side. Bustan, meaning “garden” or “orchard” in Hebrew, Arabic, and Ancient Aramaic has an eclectic gastronomic style complemented by the hospitality of Israel. Many of the restaurant’s signature dishes and breads are made in a Taboon oven, a rare find in the city, creating dishes that can’t be replicated. Owner Tuvia Feldman recently hired a fantastic new executive chef and pastry chef to re-invent his menu.
Bustan’s new Executive Chef Eli Buliskeria served in the Israeli Army at as a cook in the Combat Engineer Unit at the age of 18. He served Kosher meals for the Army for over 3 years and realized it was what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. He got a job after his tenure in the army at Choelys, one of the most highly regarded restaurants in Israel where he cooked for Politicians, Ambassadors and Presidents. Eli was driven to go to and learn from the best and in 6 months’ time, he went on to work with Chef Jonathan Roshfeld at the world famous Herbert Samuel restaurant in Tel Aviv.
There young Buliskeria went from line cook, to sous chef in six short months under the tutelage of Chef Roshfeld who went onto hire Eli to become his Executive Chef at ‘Dinner,’ a farm to table restaurant where each vegetable, fruit and ingredient was hand-chosen daily by Buliskeria and the master chef. Another project, which is still successful today, is Captain Curry, located in Tel Aviv’s heavily populated marketplace, which serves delicious traditional Indian street food. Captain Curry gave Executive Head Chef Eli, nicknamed ‘Buli’ the opportunity to work with a broad array of spices, which is now rooted in his philosophy to cooking.
In early 2017, Chef Eli Buliskeria and his sweetheart Pastry Chef Shir Rozenblat were enticed to come to America to work at the Paper Factory Hotel in Long Island City. The pair created an exceptional Israeli focused restaurant in addition to an outstanding banquet experience for special events. Word traveled and restaurateur Tuvia Feldman, a former fashion designer, hired the two to join his team at Bustan as Executive Chef and Pastry Chef respectively.
Pastry Chef Shir Rozenblat grew up in the beautiful farming village of Shekef, Israel. Shir, the youngest of 5 children, watched her mother bake brownies and cinnamon coffee cake and cook for the entire family while her father was an amazing farmer. After finishing High School she joined the Israeli Air Force where she fixed and repaired Fighter Jets. After leaving the Air Force, Shir travelled for 3 months and visited her sister in NYC where she fell in love with the city’s vibe and belief that “here everything is possible.” From that point on, she dreamed of coming to New York.
Upon her return home, she quickly pursued those dreams while watching her mother bake in the kitchen and found work in the prestigious Herbert Samuel Restaurant preparing pastries, which is where she met Chef Eli Buliskeria. Shir’s reputation then led her to work for acclaimed Haim Cohen at Yaffo, Tel Aviv. The experience with Cohen helped Shir to explore and perfect all aspects of Mediterranean desserts and ingredients.
Shir and Chef Eli Buliskeria worked together at the Paper Factory Hotel and now are a team in life and in the kitchen working harmoniously at Bustan on the Upper West Side.