Last night a friend and I tried Kapadokya, the new Turkish restaurant on Montague Street. It's on the second floor of a building between Clinton and Henry. My friend was wary of any Montague Street restaurant, but I was hopeful, having never had a bad Turkish meal and also having just returned from a vacation in Turkey.
The place, which is the Turkish spelling for the region Capadoccia, is manned by some folks from Turquoise (sp?) on the upper west side. It's a nice room, with low tables and hookahs facing Montague Street, and a patio out back (facing the rear ends of buildings on Remsen Street).
Our waiter, who was French Canadian and thus unimpressed by my Turkish, arrived to take our orders before we'd gotten menus. The menu was fairly standard--all the standbys were there, and nothing really out of the ordinary. No specials.
I started with the coban salatasi (shepherd salad) which tasted as if it had been premixed as the tomatoes, peppers and cukes all tasted the same. Friend had bastirma, billed as Turkish pastrami but really more like thinly sliced jerky. It was tasty, but the mound of stewed tomatoes and peppers in the middle of the plate and the sliced tomatoes around the edge were characterless.
Long before we were fone with our first courses, the mains showed up and the waiter didn't even acknowledge the timing problem. He just waited for us to move our plates aside.
My main was hunkar begendi, sultan's delight, which is one of the pinnacles of Turkish cuisine. It's hard to kill this dish which is tomato-stewed lamb served on a bed of eggplant-bechamel puree, and indeed this one was ok. But many of the too-little pieces of lamb were tough, the puree lacked refinement, and the garnish--wan barely grilled tomatoes--substandard. My friend's kofte were OK, but again served without care on too-dry flatbread with desultory fixins. A bread basket contained garden variety pita bread.
The dessert menu was baklava or rice pudding, a pretty poor showing. We split a baklava and it was quite good but of course it wasn't made in house. We also both had apple tea, served in too-large cups and rather pallid.
With a soda for each of us, we spent $60, about $20 more than a much better meal would have cost us at Taci's Beyti on Coney Island Avenue.
I won't be returning.
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