Somethin's Missin' in This Kitchen

As always, when AS and I have plans for dinner, we start throwing around a few ideas over email that afternoon. Last Thursday, I emailed her with a few ideas of neighborhood places we haven't been to before. The night before on my walk home from 'inoteca, I noticed Turkish Kitchen and thought how I really needed to try this place. So, Turkish Kitchen was my top pick, and she was excited to try it too.

I never really hear people talking about this restaurant, and I think as soon as we walked in, I realized why. The crowd was older...and not just middle-aged, but senior citizens. Not sure how that came to be, but this crowd seemed like repeat customers, which is a good sign in my book.

The server came over to greet us and give us our menus, and seemed less than thrilled that we weren't ordering cocktails. But, we moved on and took a look at the menu. We definitely wanted to share a few things, so we decided to get an appetizer, a salad, and an entree.

First up was the Shepherd salad, which consisted of fresh tomato, cucumber, parsley, green pepper, and onion. It was similar to what I know as an Israeli salad, except the vegetables were in larger pieces rather than being finely chopped. The presentation was beautiful, but the flavor was just a little strange. Not sure if that's the difference between Turkish and Israeli salads, but it seemed to have a little too much acidity...guessing from lemon juice.

We ordered the Cacik (like a tzatziki), made with homemade yogurt mixed with chopped cucumber, garlic, mint, and dill. It was so tasty...really light and refreshing, and had a great flavor with all of those ingredients coming together nicely.
It was served with fresh bread that was similar to a very thick, fluffy pita. The bread basket kept refilling without us asking, and we were worried if we'd still have room for dinner!

For the entree, we got the Martarli Tavuk Sis...chargrilled of chicken breast, fresh mushrooms, green peppers on a skewer, served with rice and roasted potatoes. AS and I were joking how sometimes chicken kebabs can be sort of bland, and we asked to keep the cacik on the table in case we wanted to dip the chicken in it. But, we were both pleasantly surprised at how moist and flavorful the chicken was. The mushrooms and green peppers had the perfect grill flavor, without getting too charred the way peppers can sometimes. The rice even had a great taste too it, and the roasted potatoes weren't listed on the menu, but were a welcomed addition (and were dipped in the cacik!).

The food itself was fantastic, but the service wasn't the best. Turkish Kitchen seemed to think it is a much fancier dining establishment than it actually is. Yes, there were white tablecloths, but it was hardly that type of place. The server again gave us a little attitude when we only ordered just those three items, but as AS pointed out to me, two appetizers were the same price as ordering an entree, so it wasn't like we were only spending $20.

When we were ready for the check, it took another server, a bus boy, and finally the maitre d' to get our server's attention. There were so many employees running around, but something seemed to be missing. Service wasn't so bad that I wouldn't return, but in a time when people are cutting back on dining out, I'd be grateful for any and all customers to walk through that restaurant door, regardless of how little or how much they're spending.

Turkish Kitchen
386 Third Avenue
b/t 27th & 28th
Menu Pages listing


Anonymous said…
Hi! I just came across your blog through FoodBuzz and noticed this post! My boyfriend actually lived in Turkey for a couple months and loves Turkish Food. We actually went to Turkish Kitchen about two years ago. I really enjoyed it and I'd never tried it before! :-) Thanks for the review!!