Beyoglu

200 E 81st St

There is more to Turkish food than the doner kebab, and this Upper East Side Turkish festival of flavor showcases this very fact. Located on the corner of 3rd Avenue and 81st street, the restaurant has the good luck of two floors and much terra... more

There is more to Turkish food than the doner kebab, and this Upper East Side Turkish festival of flavor showcases this very fact. Located on the corner of 3rd Avenue and 81st street, the restaurant has the good luck of two floors and much terrace space, and in nice weather the place is packed. The decorated tile-top tables set in honey-colored wood evoke the feeling of the Beyoglu, an upscale district of Istanbul where spectacular views of the Golden Horn can be had. Here, one makes do with a view of 3rd Avenue. But never mind – you can a nice, light meze and a glass of wine before heading to a movie or home to Netflix. A welcoming host is always on hand, no matter how frenetic the dining room and how much the locals live up to their reputation for complaining. The ambience here mitigates some of the hard-edges of the neighborhood. The serving plates are trimmed in a stunning blue, and while this Mediterranean color is everywhere, amber and orange add warmth and sophistication to what could easily cross over into the realm of kitsch. Added to this is an extremely hospital staff, if sometimes overwhelmed. The best tables are those that sit halfway-in, halfway-out, a... more

There is more to Turkish food than the doner kebab, and this Upper East Side Turkish festival of flavor showcases this very fact.

Located on the corner of 3rd Avenue and 81st street, the restaurant has the good luck of two floors and much terrace space, and in nice weather the place is packed. The decorated tile-top tables set in honey-colored wood evoke the feeling of the Beyoglu, an upscale district of Istanbul where spectacular views of the Golden Horn can be had. Here, one makes do with a view of 3rd Avenue. But never mind – you can a nice, light meze and a glass of wine before heading to a movie or home to Netflix.

A welcoming host is always on hand, no matter how frenetic the dining room and how much the locals live up to their reputation for complaining. The ambience here mitigates some of the hard-edges of the neighborhood. The serving plates are trimmed in a stunning blue, and while this Mediterranean color is everywhere, amber and orange add warmth and sophistication to what could easily cross over into the realm of kitsch. Added to this is an extremely hospital staff, if sometimes overwhelmed. The best tables are those that sit halfway-in, halfway-out, allowing diners to gaze outside while keeping jostling and some of the loud conversational buzz to a minimum.

The menu contains a solid list of meze, those eastern Mediterranean versions of tapas, often limited to hummus and babaganouj or perhaps tarama (fish roe spread). At Beyoglu, there are many more to try. Among the best are the sardalya (grilled sardines wrapped in grape leaves), karides izgara (grilled shrimp), cacik (yogurt and cucumber spread), ezme (a spicy red sauce) and the usual array of eggplant, tomato and other salads. Meze choices come with a loaf of round bread, perfect for sopping up the olive oil and the sauces.

Entrees include the requisite kebab, but there are those that you will not find at the corner kebab stand, such a grilled swordfish, or sea bass. What we would like to see is a more traditional Aegean-style fish, such as barbounia prepared with chopped tomatoes and parsley and steamed “papillon” style.

Dessert include the typical Mediterranean baklava-style sweets, rice pudding and a few more daring chocolate items. A glass of traditional Turkish chai is a must-have after dinner.

A real surprise are the two selections of Turkish wine, a product only recently exported. The Turkish wine-making regions are mostly on the north Aegean coast and islands, and the wines are similar to those found elsewhere in the Balkans.


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Upper East Side Description

Beyoglu is located in the Upper East Side neighborhood of Manhattan. How best to describe one of the most famous neighborhoods in the United States? Aside from the extreme concentration of the rich and the famous, their opulent dwellings, and the army of doormen, butlers and chauffeurs who serve them, the Upper East Side is also a showcase for some of America’s finest cultural establishments.

Walk along Fifth Avenue’s Museum Mile which features a veritable plethora of artistic and cultural institutions. For some of the best contemporary art collections, visit the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum and the recently renovated cylindrical wonder that is the Guggenheim. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the Guggenheim has always prided itself on being home to innovative and at times controversial works of art since its inception in 1959. There’s also the Jewish Museum, one of the world's largest and most important institutions devoted to exploring the remarkable scope and diversity of Jewish culture.

Of course, no visit to Museum Mile would be complete without to the city’s crown jewel, the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Many special exhibits complement the permanent displays at the Met, yet the collection is so vast that the huge storage areas under Central Park are bursting with pictures, sculptures and other objects d’art. From rare, ancient Egyptian relics to medieval coats of armor to a costume gallery that spans seven centuries it’s almost impossible to see everything in one visit, so multiple trips may be necessary. In addition, visit the nearby Whitney Museum of American Art and see thousands of works of art including collections by seminal artists such as Edward Hopper, Alexander Calder and Reginald Marsh. The Asia Society Museum, and Frick Collection are also nearby.

The official residence of New York City’s mayor, Gracie Mansion, is at the northern end of Carl Schurz Park on 89th Street. The main floor of the mansion is open to the public and is a showcase for art and antiques created by New York designers, cabinetmakers, painters and sculptors. Tours must be reserved in advance however.

From glamorous Fifth and Park Avenues to the fashionable townhouses in the East Sixties, Seventies and Eighties, there are too many noteworthy addresses to list, but a veritable Who’s Who of American society can be found here and if you’re lucky, you might even get a glimpse of it. For your best bet, try dinner at Elaine’s. While the food is essentially secondary to the patronage, it remains a great spot for celeb-spotting. Named after its famed, cantankerous owner who can still be spotted their nearly every night attending to customers, the casual bistro is a frequented by a high celebrity clientele and counts Woody Allen, Michael Caine and Jackie Onassis among its devotees. Good luck getting a reservation. If it's fresh seafood you're craving try Atlantic Grill. Sample the daily selection of oysters and clams on the half shell from the raw bar. Or try their unique take on sushi and sashimi. Restaurant Daniel is another great dining option renowned for its award-winning French cuisine and elegant atmosphere.

The Upper East Side is also home to some of the most luxurious hotels in New York. There's the classic Carlyle, which has been called home by leaders in world affairs, business, society, entertainment and the arts since its debut in 1930. The Carlyle remains a landmark of elegance and refined taste. Other prestigious hotels in the area include The Mark, which has been cited as one of the top 100 U.S. and Canada hotels in a Travel + Leisure's readers' poll and the sophisticated Lowell. A bit further south at the southeastern corner of Central Park, of course there's the most legendary hotel of them all, The Plaza, which set the standard for luxury when it opened over a century ago. The tradition continues following a recently completed $400 million, two-year renovation. The passion and uncompromising service, which made the hotel a legend, has returned with a new and contemporary spirit.

Info

200 E 81st St
New York, NY 10028
(212) 650-0850

Editorial Rating

Category

Turkish

Price

$$$$$

Ambience

Casual

Payment

All Major

This Week's Hours

Daily: 12:00pm-11:30pm

Nearby Subway

  • to 86th St -- 0.3

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