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Best Turkish in Manhattan -- Pasha, Beyoglu, more?

  • k

Loved Pasha when I recently went for the first time. Beyoglu I also like very much -- Turkish or just E Mediterranean?

Menupages is down now, though have found that some obscure restaurants and some very high-end ones, which wish to remain private, are not found on their site.

Any other favorite Turkish places in the city? Turkish Kitchen I found OK....

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  1. f
    foodie for life

    I like Turkish Kitchen as well as Sip Sak and Ali Baba. All located in in the east 30s. Nothing fancy but great food.

    1 Reply
    1. re: foodie for life

      Sip Sak is on Second Ave & 49th St.

    2. sip sak on second and 49th is very good. the owner/chef is just a little crazy

      1. I would vote Pasha out of the picture. There is very little emphasis on flavor and authenticity, and too much focus on high-end service. In a party of four, I was there last week and we ordered 1 or 2 dishes each of nine different appetizers (having read an old review on Chowhound that appetizers are better than entrees here). The yogurt and eggplant were routine. The kalamar (fried calamari) was delicious. The tiny steamed dumplings were cutesy-poo but flavorless. The octopus was surrounded by very tasty greens but tasted like cardboard. The feta was decent. The hummus was bland (Hummus Place, an Israeli lunch counter nearby at 305 Amsterdam Ave. at 74th-75th, has blowout hummus, you will not believe it!) and the taramosalata was very good, but each of these came as two tiny one-ounce scoops. For $5 a plate they are shaving it a bit thin. The leeks were boring. This place is looking for the well-heeled business and tourist crowd which finds its pinnacle of fulfillment in obsequious service. Bless their unadventuresome hearts! This place doesn't get anywhere close to Turkey - maybe 2 or 3 feet in that direction at most.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Reynold

          While I do see where you're coming from, my feeling about Pasha is very different. At its best it is wonderful. True it's uneven and you need to know where to focus on the menu. I concur with earlier postings suggesting the appetizer plates basically are the way to go - and they frequently are excellent (along with fresh baked Turkish bread). In particular, the soslu patlican (stewed eggplant that is wonderfully flavorful if not spicy), cheese boreks, shephard salad, and steamed dumplings (cutesy poo? bah - we love em). Lamb kabob-based mains can be good too. Funny thing is I actually find the service to be pretty spotty (prolonged absence of servers, dishes prematurely swiped from table, etc). All in all, an appealing reasonably priced neighborhood spot with very good food (sometimes excellent) in a pleasant environment. If you go do try the outdoor terrace in mild weather.

          1. re: burton

            I thought Pasha was great. I guess it all depends on what you order.

        2. Zeytin on 85th & Columbus Ave is very good. I've been eating brunch there for the past few months on w/e's & the quality of food is excellent-I alternate from egg dishes to shish kabobs, beef/chicken wraps. Also have been there a handful of times for dinner & had excellent seafood dishes as well. Worth a look.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Fallon

            Ditto Zeytin, one of my favorite neighborhood hangouts.

          2. I've been meaning to post about "Turks and Frogs" on Greenwich St. We had a very good experience there.

            1. Another vote for Turkish Kitchen. Really authentic, tasty food. ANd nice decor.

                1. re: jenniebnyc

                  I second Taksim. Very good food at great prices (for that neighborhood). The mixed grill platter for two @ 20$ is a bargain. Atmosphere is OK but it's not for a romantic dinner.

                2. My favorite is Ali Baba on 34th between 2nd and 3rd. The mezes are incredible and very well priced. Best strategy is to go and order a whole bunch of mezes including patlican salatasi, coban salatasi and acili ezme. If they have artichokes (not always) that's worth a try too. Findik Lahmacun, a smaller version of delicious Turkish pizza is better made than in Turkey. Main courses are pretty much as exiting as any other Turkish Restaurant.
                  Turkish Kitchen has the best Turkish brunch at $17.50 pp. except getting a reservation can be tricky at times and be prepared for long lines to pick up food.
                  Zeytin, I think is a great deal. I still couldn't figure out why that place is never full. You can have great sucuk and Turkish scrambled eggs for a ridiculously low price. Also try Yogurtlu Kebab at Zeytin.

                  1. I second Ali Baba. The food is really good, although service restaurant or delivery are both torturously slow. Everything here is pretty much delicious.

                    1. Like the food at Turkish Kitchen although I find the management/host to be a little brusque.

                      1. I just went to Pasha for the first time on Sunday night and I must say I was definitely disappointed. I thought the atmosphere was cute and cozy - enjoyed the red walls and the vibe. I ended up dining outside b/c it was actually a lovely night. Contrary to many of the posts I've read, I found the service to be great. Our waiter was a little over-attentive if anything, though the restaurant was fairly quiet and we were probably one of his only tables so I'm sure that's why.

                        For an appetizer, we ordered the stuffed grape leaves which I thought were great - although I asked for a lemon to squeeze on them to give them a little more flavor (at my favorite Turkish restaurant - 101 on 24th b/w 2nd and 3rd, the grape leaves are served with fresh lemon wedges for this reason).

                        We also ordered the Ahtapot Salatasi as an appetizer - (tender octopus tossed with red onion, diced tomatoes, green olives, fresh dill, parsley and balsamic dressing). I don't eat octopus very often so I don't know much about it. However my friend commented that he thought it was a bit overcooked. I found the consistency to be very meaty - like chicken, which I was not expecting and I'm not sure if this is what you go for when cooking octopus, but the taste was good.

                        For our main dishes, we had the chicken stuffed with rice (and other things - can't remember) it was in a creamy sauce. It was just O.K. The chicken was nice and juicy - but I found the dish to be sort of bland. There wasn't really any exciting flavor that jumped out at me. We also had the Hunkar Begendi - (cubes of baby lamb cooked in tomato sauce with rosemary and oregano, served over charcoal roasted eggplant puree). My friend enjoyed this dish very much. I again, was not super impressed. The eggplant puree was a nice touch though I am not a fan of smokey and the smokey flavor was definitely the predominant taste. The lamb was very tender and tasty and I enjoyed the tomato sauce it was cooked in - but again, it didn't rock my world and I left much of it on my plate without regret.

                        All in all, I was disappointed in the meal. I wouldn't go back to Pasha again - though I did find it to be reasonably priced and I enjoyed the atmosphere. In my opinion, head down to 101 Restaurant! Murat (the owner) is awesome and takes care of you. It is a tiny little place so there's not much privacy - but the food is AMAZING (far surpassing Pasha in my opinion) and the price is right! The plating of the dishes is also extremely appealing and every dish that is served is a vision!

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: ningerma

                          I'd love to hear more about 101 Restaurant, from ningerma or others who've dined there. Her zaman ariyorum...

                        2. Hands down, Ali Baba on 34th street 2-3 ave. Seriously, I thought i'd eaten good humus, eggplant, etc...this place blew me away. Down to earth, real, polite, amazing. Can't give it enough stars or praise. Big hole in the wall I call it, with bigger heart. The lamachun is tops.

                          I know sounds like a corny name, but the food is anything but.

                          1. A big second for Turks & Frogs. I have also heard good things about Pera Med. Bistro in midtown but haven't tried it yet.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: alyssi

                              I had a terrible experience at Pasha tonight, although I've been pleased with my past experiences there (I haven't been in 2 or 3 years but have been there about 4 times counting today.) The sigara (feta cheese rolls) were fine - not as light or crispy as the ones at Taksim, which is excellent, but the lamb in the hunkar begendi - my favorite dish - was chewy and fatty. My dining companion had the vegetable stew, which was boring and overpriced at $13. Try Taksim or Sip Sak instead. I'll have to check out Ali Baba and Turkish Kitchen b/c of the positive posts here.