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Turkish Kitchen on 27th and 3rd

How is it? Never been and may go tomorrow night.

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  1. I'm a big fan. I like all the dishes that employ smoked eggplant. The sheperd's salad, or farmer's salad, is tasty. Pretty much can't go wrong with roasted meat.

    Upstairs seating can be hot. Skip the Turkish wines.

    1. it's a favorite of many veteran posters here, and if you do a search you will find many posts praising the food and recommending it...

      i went there once, about a year ago...while the appetizers were tasty (esp. the eggplant) and the rest of the food solid, i didn't love the vibe or the service...it wasn't "bad", but the service seemed (on that night at least), a bit pretentious (i.e. the waiter didn't need to act like he was serving us Chateau Margaux when he brought our wine by the glass) and the atmosphere (lots of red decoration) made it feel like the single "exotic" date-restaurant in a small college town...

      my food was decent, nothing bad happened, but i didn't understand why people had raved about it...

      1 Reply
      1. re: Simon

        the food was great, but service is really poor. i planned a birthday dinner there, and it was an awful night. they swooped down to take away plates that still had food on them, and completely rushed us through our meal.

          1. re: G3B

            Third on Uskudar. It's tiny (maybe 22 seats) and the owners are there to take care of you. Also like the very nice "neighborhood" clientele.

        1. The food is really decent. If you get there before 6:30 they have a good deal for $20 for like 3-4 courses. I've never been that impressed with their entrees but their apps are pretty good.

          1. Agree with everyone's issues with service. The first time I went, it was a little brisk, but the food came and wine was poured. The second time, the food came late. The third and last time, the waiter responded to every request with a blank stare.

            Food is all right; nothing spectacular. If you're in the area and not completely tied to Turkish food, try Bamiyan a block south. Great Afghani food (kebabs, stews), good service, nice space (no neon lights at the bar).

            1. We prefer Ali Baba over Turkish Kitchen. Better, friendlier service and the food is great.

              1. Love Turkish Kitchen! When I go, I don't order from the menu; I ask the server to bring a variety of her/his favorite items (after descriptions, of course). This way, I try wonderful things I never would have known to order.

                1. Went for lunch today. The service was excruciatingly slow. It was crowded for lunch and you would think they would want to turn the tables but, as I said, it was excruciating. I thought the food was just okay. It is certainly good value at lunch, but nothing to go out of your way for.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: omotosando

                    I spent some of the summer in Istanbul, one of my favorite cities. Though I've had a good time at Turkish Kitchen, the food at Limon (24th between 2nd and 3rd) is stellar, inexpensive and the best Turkish food I've had in the United States. The dining room is tiny, only 16 seats. It is still BYOB which is such a PLUS!!!

                    Everything is incredible - the hummus melts in you mouth - the salads are fresh - I can't say enough about it. I've never been back to Turkish Kitchen after discovering Limon.

                    1. re: elyseNY

                      Thanks for calling attention to Limon, elyseNY. Iirc, that teensy space used to house a restaurant called Marty Kebab? I think we tried it once, and it was o.k. I've wondered about Limon. Sounds like a (not-so-hidden-from-us) little gem. While we like both Turkish Kitchen and Ali Baba, I think it's time for us to give Limon a try.

                  2. I was a long-time partisan of Turkish Kitchen and would still go there except that I've found Ali Baba nearby, which I now find to be the best Turkish restaurant I've ever been to. The menu is more varied than Turkish Kitchen's, the staff is more pleasant, and the food is far better. Even though TK's food is very good, the Baba's is superlative.
                    Tarabia, a newcomer on the west side of First Avenue between 58th and 59th, I now rank second to Ali Baba and above all others, including its nearby competitors, Taksim and Sip Sak. Furthermore, the welcome is delightful. Give it a try as they are just starting up. Manhattan has never had so many worthy Turks.

                    1. We paid our 2nd visit to Turkish Kitchen last Saturday. Previous reviews on this thread have been mixed, ranging from "adequate" to "very good." Put me in the 2nd camp with the caveat that you need to order carefully. (All descriptions are straight from the menu.)

                      Starters -

                      Pan-fried thinly sliced aged beef sausage - Served in a portion for two, this was pleasantly assertive. It would have paired nicely with an order of Ezme (finely chopped tomatoes, onions, and parsley, mixed with hot peppers and spices.) Unfortunately we didn't order that.

                      No, we had the manti - poached beef dumplings served in a garlicky yogurt sauce. The first 2 bites are slightly intriguing, after that it gets boring fast. I fell for this trick once. My girlfriend has fallen for it 2 or 3 times. Never again.

                      Lamb Tandir - thinly sliced roasted leg of lamb, garnished with fresh oregano and served with traditional rice. This dish was just terrific, as was the small serving of bread served on the side. I've been in a lamb mood lately and the previous night I had the lamb shank at Al Di La. This was a huge improvement; the spicing was much more complex without being overwhelming. The rice which was served on the side was excellent as well. Just a great dish.

                      Lamb and chicken combination, chargrilled and served with garlic yogurt on tomato slices on pita bread. My GF liked this fine although I felt the Tandir edged it out. Of course the tandir had an advantage - it was 100% lamb.

                      I like the room but my GF finds it a little oppressive. You can decide for yourself. There are pictures of all the dishes here as well as a shot of the room.


                      The prices are certainly gentle enough and if you're careful about ordering you can have a pretty good meal, especially if you avoid the manti.

                      Bonus points - the crowd was largely Turkish and the people watching was choice. There were a couple of large family tables which included children. The kids were all delightfully well behaved, which is more than I can say for half the twentysomethings around this town. They need to spend some time with Turkish parents.

                      ETA - The brand new CH Places feature is under the delusion that Turkish Kitchen is in Brooklyn. It's actually in Manhattan at 386 3rd Ave between 27th and 28th St.


                      Turkish Kitchen
                      386 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Bob Martinez

                        >The brand new CH Places feature is under the delusion that Turkish Kitchen is in Brooklyn. It's actually in Manhattan at 386 3rd Ave between 27th and 28th St.

                        This problem came up weeks ago in beta testing. The site folks told us it was a "known issue." Now I see it is even more widely known.

                        But I'm wandering off topic. Just started a thread on this bug, in case anyone here cares to chime in ... http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/663451

                        Turkish Kitchen
                        386 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016