Have you ever wanted to open a restaurant with 20 of your closest family and friends? The Aslanturk family did just that- opening Turkish restaurant Ankara this week in the former Levante’s spot, just steps from the Dupont Circle metro station.
The menu has a number of traditional Turkish and other Mediterranean inspired mezze – hot and cold, vegetarian and meat. We sampled the cheese filled cigars (sigara boregi), lentil “meatballs”, Turkish cheeses, and one of my favorites – the zucchini-herb cakes (mucver – pronounced mujver). The batter fried calamari was simple and light, and the grilled beef kebab was flavorful and tender.
In addition to the mezze, there is a lineup of “pide” – Turkish flatbreads. The meaty eggplant and herb pide was delicious, as was the minced meat. I’m definitely going back for the pide!
For more hearty plates, do not miss the grill plates – beef/lamb/meatballs, which is accompanied by rice and vegetables.
Oh, if you are a fan of baklava- do not miss trying out the sweet treat at Ankara. It’s the perfect sweet ending.
Drinks wise – there is a good list of Turkish and European wines available by the glass and the bottle. Plus of ourse, the Turkish national drink raki, which you should try. At your own risk. The patio, which seats over 100 people is a prime spot for people watching alongside the raki, so I’ll be making use of that this summer!
Ankara is now open for lunch, happy hour, and dinner, and I’m already excited to see if/when they will start brunch.