Istanbul Grill- Dallas
FYI- My fiance and I just got back from our second trip to Istanbul Grill down in Deep Ellum (Not to be confused with Cafe Istanbul off of Lovers Ln.) and we had a second fantastic meal there. The two Lamb dishes that we had were downright succulent with the perfect hint of mint (Shepherds Saute and Lamb Kabob). All the appetizers and sides were well prepared and presented. So far we have tried the Ezme (olive oil, herbs, garlic, and redpepper dipping paste?) and Cacik (Cucumber yogurt dip), of which I liked the Ezme better. The Turkish wine we tried with the first meal was not outstanding but they had several other offerings that would fit the meal better. A highlight from tonight's meal was one of their desert dishes that I could not pronounce that consisted of a mozzarella cheese base layered with shredded baclava pastry dough (without the filling) and then topped with a rich sugar syrup. Not exactly heart healthy but mmm-mmm good. Entree's were between $11 and $17, and it looked like they had a reasonable ($6-7) lunch menu. The decor is eastern but well done and like everywhere in Deep Ellum you can dress as nice or as casual as you like.
We had the same server on both occasions and he had a Turkish accent. I asked him if he and the cook were the only two guys that worked the restaurant. He said that it is himself, his sister, and a longtime family friend (all from Turkey) who are the owner/operators. I told him how much we liked the food. At any rate, I though the Chowhound community might want to check the place out. Also, their website shows a bunch of belly dancer pictures but I have yet to see one there... I like to eat in peace! http://www.istanbulgrilltx.com/
Website is down. I went to IG with my brother. We had the calf's liver and each had a lamb dish. Have to say I was not impressed. Despite the fact that we ordered an appetizer, the server, one of only two people there, pushed hummus on us. Sort of acted like it was complimentary. Which it wasn't. Which would have been fine, but it wasn't that good. I would certainly give it another try, but I was not impressed.
Funny you should ask. We went to Istanbul Grill then to Istanbul Cafe and then back to Istanbul Grill in the space of two weeks. The food is good at both places but I am partial to Istanbul Grill which is more of a small family run place were the food seemed more hand crafted with fresh ingredients and new flavors. I can still tell you what I ordered each time. I may be partial to Istanbul Grill because Cafe Istanbul was packed and loud and we were harassed by their bellydancer lurking for tips.
I will say that we went back to Istanbul Grill the other night and they had hired a new waitress and the service was pretty bad...