Turkish Kitchen

386 3rd Ave. New York, NY 10016 • (212) 679-1810turkishkitchen.com

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If you have read any of my other reviews you probably guessed by now that I have some sort of link to Turkey considering how many Turkish restaurants I have reviewed. And you would be right. I go to Turkey at least once a year for a few weeks and I absolutely love the food. But unfortunately there are too many great dishes for one restaurant to hold on their menu so I kind of have to run the circuit to truly get my fix on all of my favorites. And Turkish kitchen is the only place in the city that I found to have my absolute top favorite dish, midye dolma (stuffed mussels). A dish born out of fishing towns like Izmir and the beautiful coves of the Turkish Riviera. But TK is more than a one trick pony. They do a lot of things well, particularly their whole fish served bones, head and all- which is the way they serve it in Turkey, so be prepared to clean it should you choose to order it. Décor is nice and service is always friendly. And while they are the only ones to carry my favorite dish, if you find yourself lovin’ some Turkish like me, check out some of my other recos, because Turkish Kitchen is just the tip of the buzdagi (iceberg).

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The Ultimate Mussels

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Midye Dolma Carts & Sehmus– Bodrum, TK

During the Summer, throughout the Bodrum area, there are these guys walking around with street carts, loaded with mussels. Now, if you are half sane, mollusks are probably the LAST street meat you’d ever want to risk your life with, but please hear me out.

These mussels are called midye dolma (stuffed mussels) and they cooked, stuffed with rice and spices, closed back up and then chilled. All of this happening back in Izmir where the family catches the mussels and prepares them. Then, they load up their sons (it would seem they have outdone the old lady who lived in a shoe) with these mussels and send them off throughout the Turkish Riviera.

So, should you happen to see one of these guys, don’t think it’s some rinky dink operation. And especially don’t pass them by. Get yourself a dozen, squeeze some lemon over the top and order yourself a glass of white wine or raki. I will bet my foodiness that about halfway through you will be ready for another dozen.

Yamashiro – Los Angeles, CA

Most people come to Yamashiro for the view. I go for the mussels. I mean sure, the view is spectacular and the grounds are impeccable, but the Seven Spice Mussels are seventh heaven. Forget the sushi. Forget the fact that Jason Priestley once took Jennie Garth here for a date on 90210. Just remember to get the mussels if you should ever go here.

L’Ondine – Cannes, FR

The place is very unassuming from a culinary aspect as you would likely discount it as just a beach that happens to serve food, but assumptions are like really annoying phrases that you’ve heard all your life so I’ll spare you. That said, park your assumptions on the Croisette because the Moules Frites here is phenomenal.