In the Mood for Doner Kebab? Hit Turkish Restaurant Week
This warm-toned Mediterranean eatery (424 Eighth St., SE; 202-547-1555) specializes in pide, or Turkish-style pizza baked in a wood-fired oven.
First course: Caesar salad; çoban salatası with cucumbers, tomato, green peppers, onion, and parsley-lemon dressing; Greek salad with radish, red onion, capers, Kalamata olives, and feta tossed in a house-made Greek dressing .
Second course: Mixed mezze platter with spicy herb-seasoned tomatoes, hummus, and fresh vegetables; sigara borek, fried phyllo pastries filled with feta, parsley, and dill; grape leaves filled with seasoned rice, currants, and herbs.
Third course: Hünkar begendi, braised beef with eggplant purée and Gruyère cheese; iskender kebab, lamb and veal cooked over an open flame and sliced thin, served with bread cubes, yogurt, and tomato sauce.
Dessert: Pistachio baklava; kazandibi, a baked milk pudding.
From the tiles to the food, this chic Georgetown spot feels authentically Turkish. The place gets its name from the ritzy Divan Hotel in Istanbul.
First course: Mixed-appetizer platter with feta-filled sigara borek, hummus with vegetables, feta cheese, stuffed grape leaves, and red lentils with wheat, spices, and onion.
Second course: Garden salad.
Third course: Choice of three kebabs: Doner kebab made with lamb and veal and served with rice and sautéed tomato; chicken shish kebab with onions, tomatoes, and green peppers; vegetable kebab with grilled eggplant, tomato, bell peppers, and mushrooms. Kebabs are served with either rice or pita bread and yogurt sauce.
Dessert: Mixed-dessert platter with kazandibi, a baked and caramelized milk pudding, Turkish cookies sweetened with syrup, and tulumba, fritters with syrup.
This casual restaurant (1320 19th St., NW; 202-293-3244) just off Dupont Circle is the second American outpost of a popular Austria-based chain; the first opened in Bethesda in 1998.
First course: Turkish-style red-lentil soup with peppermint; shepherd salad with diced tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, onions, olive oil, and lemon.
Second course: Hummus; sigara borek, phyllo pastries filled with feta and dill.
Third course: Doner kebab made with thinly cut beef and lamb served with rice and tzatziki; lahmacun pide, a pizza topped with chopped lamb, vegetables, and lemon; sucuk pide, a pizza topped with hot Turkish sausage, mild peppers, and Kaser cheese; grilled-chicken salad in a mild curry sauce with mixed greens and house dressing.
Dessert: Baklava; sütlaç, a rice pudding.
Meze Restaurant and Lounge
In addition to Middle Eastern cuisine, this Adams Morgan hangout offers free belly-dancing lessons every Sunday.
First course: Mixed-green salad with basil vinaigrette; çoban salatası, a salad with cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, green peppers, olive oil, parsley, and lemon juice.
Second course: Muhammara kanepe, bruschetta topped with roasted-red-pepper/walnut spread; gavur dagi, a spicy relish made with tomatoes, parsley, walnuts, and olive-oil/pomegranate dressing; çerkez tavugu kanepe, bruschetta with shredded chicken breast, walnuts, garlic, and paprika.
Third course: Hünkar begendi, braised beef with eggplant purée and Gruyère cheese; mantı, a beef-filled pastry with garlic-yogurt and buttered-red-pepper sauce; adana kebabı, a skewer of grilled ground lamb and beef with rice and salad.
Rosemary’s Thyme Bistro
A corner patio and varied menu make this Dupont Circle restaurant (1801 18th St., NW; 202-332-3200) a popular stop for people-watching.
First course: Mixed platter with three-cheese sigara borek, eggplant salad, grape leaves, and feta.
Second course: Mixed-greens salad with balsamic vinaigrette or creamy feta dressing.
Third course: Hünkar begendi, slow-baked lamb with smoked-eggplant purée, rice, and beans; adana kebab, skewers of char-grilled ground lamb and beef with rice, pita bread, and yogurt; char-grilled lamb shish kebab with beans, rice pilaf, and yogurt; manti, beef dumplings poached and topped with garlic-yogurt-and-tomato sauce; pide, flatbread baked with a choice of toppings.
Dessert: Kunefe for two, made with sweetened cheese and shredded phyllo dough; baklava; cappuccino flan.
The elegant but unassuming Temel (3232 Old Pickett Rd., Fairfax; 703-352-5477) specializes in Turkish food, although the menu—dubbed as Euro-Mediterranean—also features some Greek dishes.
First course: Appetizer platter with sigara borek, stuffed grape leaves, hummus with vegetables, and falafel with cilantro and cumin.
Second course: Mixed-greens salad with vinaigrette.
Third course: Chicken kebab made with grilled and marinated chicken breast; adana kebab made with ground lamb; beef shish kebab; moussaka, baked eggplant with ground beef, potato, béchamel, ricotta, and tomato sauce.
Located in the Westchester luxury apartment complex—where Barry Goldwater once lived—this family-operated restaurant (4000 Cathedral Ave., NW; 202-333-1882) serves American cuisine with Turkish accents.
First course: Mixed-greens salad; cucumber salad with yogurt, dill, mint, and lime juice .
Second course: Mezze platter with sigara borek; stuffed grape leaves; and hummus with pita bread.
Third course: Chicken topkapı with rice and cherry sauce; Turkish liver sautéed with oregano, parsley, and cayenne; imam bayıldı, eggplant simmered with onions, garlic, and tomatoes.
Dessert: Sekerpare, a pastry topped with pistachios.
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