My husband and I have just returned from enjoying this month’s Foreign Food Night at A La Turka on the Upper East Side. This month was my husband’s turn to choose which cuisine we would explore and he chose Turkish. We used to live in the same neighborhood as A La Turka and we always said we’d like to try it sometime but never got around to it. It was nice to get back to the old neighborhood and after the meal we just had, I think we’ll be doing it more often…
We arrived in a deluge of rain thanks to the remnants of Hurricane Hanna. We almost thought of postponing Foreign Food Night until tomorrow night but we were feeling particularly adventuresome and set out to enjoy our evening. As soon as we entered the restaurant, we could smell the heavenly aroma of grilled meats. My mouth started watering and my stomach started growling. We were sat at the front window, per our request, and perused the menu, taking note of the soulful music in the background. As soon as we ordered, we were brought a basket of soft, warm flatbread with 3 dipping sauces (chili sauce, yogurt sauce with cucumber and dill, and flavored olive oil).
We shared a couple of hot appetizers – Sigara Boregi: pan-fried phyllo scrolls stuffed with feat cheese and dill; and Spicy Cigars: pan-fried phyllo scrolls stuffed with ground lamb with a garlicky yogurt sauce. Both appetizers were out-of-this-world good!
With appetizers as good as these, our appetites were properly whetted and ready for our entrees. My husband had the Beyti Kebab: hand chopped ground lamb seasoned with garlic, red pepper and parsley. He L-O-V-E-D it! I had the Fresh Turkish Okra with Lamb: baby okra cooked with tomatoes and onions served with rice. Oh my… the lamb was so incredibly tender, I was in rapture.
For dessert, my husband had Baklava. He can not see Baklava on a menu and not order it. I ordered the rice pudding, which is my new comfort food dessert of choice. It was so rich and creamy I would love to have some of it while sitting in front of a fireplace in my pajamas. But, I digress. Needless to say, we both enjoyed our desserts very much. I do apologize, we did not take photos of our desserts as I, acting like a deranged woman who must have her dessert NOW, dug into my rice pudding before my husband could grab the camera. So sorry.
As far as service is concerned, we were delighted by the wait staff that served us. Everyone was exceedingly friendly and knowledgeable.
I must point out that we had to use our point-and-shoot camera this evening as our new digital SLR is simply too large to discreetly take photos in a restaurant. Still, I think the photos turned out nicely.
My rating (out of a possible 5):
Yes, you read correctly, I have awarded this restaurant 5 TC’s. The first 5 I have given since starting this blog! That is high praise indeed. I implore you to try this restaurant soon. We were so thrilled with our meal and I want you to experience it for yourself!