A group of friends and I planned a night out at Sofra, a Turkish restaurant that none of us had tried before. The interior is small but interesting – lots of wood and a giant horse statue at the entrance. Each table has a charm embedded into the table surface – a glass eye as a charm against the evil eye. I did think about taking a photo of one, but I decided that it would probably give me bad luck or something and erred on the safe side.
To drink, I tried some Turk Cayi – Turkish tea. It arrived in a tiny cup with a spoon and a sugar cube. And it tasted like orange pekoe. Yeah, I felt a little ripped off.
Two people tried the pideler – traditional forno-baked pizzas.
The first was the Tavuklu Pide, a chicken, tomato, green pepper and cheese pizza.
The second was a Kiymali Pide, a ground beef pizza with with vegetables and cheese.
Both pizzas had plenty of cheese and the toppings tasted okay, but the pizzas didn’t wow anyone at the table except for the light, flaky crust.
Two of us had the kebabs, which were served with a side salad, grilled vegetables, and bulgar. I quite enjoyed the bulgar as it was cooked perfectly (not too mushy and not too hard), and was seasoned well.
One person had the Adana Kebab made with spicy beef. Everyone at the table thought this was the best dish out of all that was ordered. The beef was tender and the portion was generous.
I had the Kuzu Sis Kebab nade with herbed lamb and grilled to medium well. The lamb pieces were large and were heavily seasoned with rosemary (and probably oregano, but the rosemary is what stood out in my memory). The menu actually says that the meat would be grilled medium to medium well, but I wasn’t asked which I preferred. The lamb was decent but to be honest, it wasn’t really that different from any lamb I’ve had from Greek restaurants and I would have preferred meat that was closer to medium than medium well.
All in all the meal was pleasant, but I think we were all expecting more since none of us had ever been to a Turkish restaurant before. Service was pleasant and relatively prompt. We did have one hiccup – one of the dishes served wasn’t what was ordered – but the server caught it right away and corrected the mistake. We didn’t end up getting charged for our pekoe-tasting tea, although the server didn’t mention it so I’m guessing it was because of the error but I don’t have a confirmation for the reason.
Would I go again? Possibly. But I have a feeling I’d probably end up at a Greek restaurant instead.
Sofra Turkish Cuisine
10345 – 106 Street