I paid my second visit to the Turkish restaurant Bosphorus in Cary last night. I want to say again what a nice little restaurant this is -- everything fresh and thoughtfully prepared, portions plentiful and prices cheap, service friendly and unpretentious. What impresses me is that Bosphorus gives its all to every element of the meal. Even the olive oil that came with the bread was a seized opportunity for a nice little taste twist. The oil was flavored with lemon juice, herbs, and minutely diced roasted red peppers to create something unusual and surprisingly toothsome. We couldn't resist dipping and licking our fingers once the bread was gone.
I think Bosphoros is at least as good -- probably better -- than the much more expensive and more pretentious Talluleh on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. I went on Valentine's Day with my wife. The food was good if pricey, but what struck me was the mood of the place. There was a hushed politeness that seemed to me a little weird; nobody seemed to be having a very good time. Maybe people were under Valentine's Day pressure (big dates), or maybe, as I felt, there was something slightly chilling about the demeanor of the staff.
The meal came to $75 without wine or drinks -- two apps, two entrees, two coffees, one dessert. I thought this was a bit much, given the nature of the cuisine.
One strange detail. The waitress talked us into ordering the dessert special -- profiteroles stuffed with apricots. This sounded unusual and I agreed to give it a try. The dessert arrived mysteriously without apricots -- plain old profiteroles. Not bad, but not especially good, and certainly not interesting.
All of this being said, I'd rather eat at Talluleh that at any other restaurant on Franklin Street. It's the best of numerous middling options.