A friend took me out to Aya Sofia (6671 Chippewa - across the street from Ted Drewes) the other night. What a great place! One of the owners was trained as an architect but really should stick to interior design as the place is gorgeous and very evocative of Turkey. Leftover screens between booths are from the previous Italian tenant but fit in perfectly since they have been cleaned and repaired. There is a sense of drama eating in this setting. The chairs & booths are comfy and the bathrooms clean. I also loved the small bar area with the hunky bartender who tells great jokes. Authentic-sounding music plays softly throughout the place.
The chef is from Turkey. The staff has been poached from various reputable restaurants like Remy's and Scottish Arms. They were professional, courteous and best of all, enthusiastic.
Food was also great. Turkish food is like a cross between Middle Eastern (hummus, stuffed grapeleaves, eggplant), Greek (lots of yogurt) and Mediterranean (steamed mussels). The bread plate is soft, warm pita. We really liked the shrimp appetizer- perfectly cleaned, seasoned and grilled. The bohca is a seasoned ground beef baked in a flaky filo crust, served with a piquant tomato sauce - also excellent. Sigara Boregi were little "cigars" of filo stuffed with feta, parsley and dill - incredible and my favorite. We also had Izgara Kofte which was like little spicy hamburger patties served with rice. I wasn't as enthusiastic about this one, but I think it was purely personal. Next time I would just order one of the fine-looking combination platters of appetizers. But there are 14 entrees, lovely-looking soups and salads, so there is much to try. The wine list was excellent but very unusual and I was grateful for the server's expertise here.
Frankly, we loved Aya Sophia and I am looking forward to going back. Especially for the Sigars. I would even try to encourage a non-adventurous eater to come here - there are plenty of things like steak and fish to please them.