Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Dinner at Cafe Istanbul

We recently had a fantastic dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Cafe Istanbul at Easton Town Center. We've been there several times, but our experience witht he menu is quite limited because we never seem to be able to order anything different. The place smells great, and the food we've had (and the service) has been wonderful. Our regular order is to start with the small "appetizer sampler", which has Humus (Pureed chickpeas with tahini , garlic & lemon juice), patlican salatasi (Smoked mashed eggplant blended with tahini & garlic), yaprak dolmasi (Grape leaves stuffed with rice, herbs, currents & pine nuts), kisir (Cracked wheat salad with red & green peppers, parsley, onions, olive oil & lemon), pilaki(Pinto beans with carrots, green peppers & diced potatoes seasoned with light tomato sauce & olive oil.), soslu patlican (Cubes of fried eggplant in fresh tomato sauce) and, my favorite, ezme (Blended tomatoes, onions and hot peppers mixed with olive oil & herbs). Oh, my the ezme is good stuff! I'm searching for a good usable recipe for ezme and will post it as soon as I try it. The appetizer platter is served with very fresh and flavorful hot, right out of the oven turkish bread. After we devour the appetizer platter, we then split a dish called "Karniyarik", which is described as "oven-roasted eggplant stuffed with ground beef, chopped tomatoes, green peppers and herbs". I have absolutely no refernce for to describe to you what it tastes like - I can never remember until I taste it again. All I can say is that it's great. After a hot turkish tea or turkish coffee, we usually roll out of there stuffed to the gills and with our tastes buds completely satisfied for about $30 + tip. If you're anywhere near Columbus, go there! If you aren't, find a turkish restaurant near you.

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