HOME > Chowhound > General Tristate Archive >
What have you made lately? Get great advice
TELL US

Kervan, I Love You

d
Dave Feldman Jul 18, 1999 09:41 PM

After whining a little about Beyti Kebab, it's a
pleasure to reiterate what a superb restaurant Kervan
is, the best Turkish restaurant I've ever experienced.

It's astonishing to go to a restaurant that serves a
conventional repertoire but consistently executes
almost everything better than anyone else. There's
little NOT to rave about here, but the smoky eggplant
salad and the rice (served with all kebabs and most
entrees) drive me nuts. Kervan wasn't busy on this
steamy night, so I decided to mosey back toward the
kitchen. I was lucky enough to speak to the entire
cooking staff, including Moustaffa, the main chef, who
had the combination of intensity, pride, and
seriousness that characterize most great cooks that
I've met.

Not that he didn't have a sense of humor. He and his
cohorts were busy making faces at my friends' baby I
was holding, trying to make her laugh. The secret to
his eggplant salad, he proclaimed, is that the
eggplant is always cooked on the grill (I'm still not
sure this explains all of the intense smoky
flavor).

Even dishes as simple as the humble bean salad are
vibrant and refreshing, and serve as wonderful
preludes to the sublime lamb chops and my favorite
entree, the Iskender kebab, which Alpha Hound
recommends in his book.

I've visited many wonderful restaurants because of The
Eclectic Gourmet, but I think this is my favorite so
far.

I brought back some leftover Iskender kebab and
ordered two eggplant salads to go. I'm a happy man.