Ankara

With the return of restaurants has come the return of in-law dinners out! It was a rough few months there. Greek/Turkish/Lebanese is a consistent winner with the fam so I booked us outside at Ankara, which I’d not even heard of until now.

MVIMG_20200704_175604.jpgThey have a handful of interesting cocktails with Middle Eastern ingredients and spices (think figs, za’atar, pomegranate, etc.) but because we had a rough night the previous night alcohol-wise, I opted for a Turkish rosé wine. The hubs ordered the dark Lebanese beer. Standard. But I very much appreciate their commitment to authentic sourcing.

As per usual, I did most of the deciding and ordering for the group and we ended up with a good spread and more than enough food. Here’s the breakdown:

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Sigara boregi are a perennial favorite. Cheese, salt, crispy skin. Sign me up. These were no exception. It’s hard to go wrong.

We got a 3-cold mezze spread including the spicy haydari, muhammara, and the cheese plate. It came with two little pitas, which is just not enough. The haydari was everyone’s first choice as it was tart and slightly smoky-spicy. The muhammara was deliciously roasty and nutty. The cheese plate was a cheese plate, I guess. Once again, I’ve never met a cheese I didn’t like.

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The spinach pide came next. Again, cheesy, roasty goodness. Lots of nicely cooked veggies and a crispy crust. This could have been an entire dinner.

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And then we come to the piece de resistance: the roasted short ribs.

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This was like half a cow’s worth of gooey, plummy, molassesy, melt-in-your-mouth beef that had zero (ZERO) bad bites and pulled completely cleanly off the bone. I couldn’t stop eating it. The veggies on the plate with it were a little soggy and lackluster but it’s really hard to fault the rest of this platter. It was kind of shameful how much I gorged myself on this.

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And, on top of that, I absolutely needed to save room for the kunefe, 1000% my favorite dessert of all time. Ankara’s version did not skimp on the pistachios, was perfectly cheesy, and not super sweet and syrupy. It could have used some lemon maybe, just a little something extra, but overall I can’t complain.

Price: $35 per person.

Bottom line: We will be back. Probably next Saturday. Ankara is worth everyone’s time. They also have a big patio with an extendable awning so you don’t have to fear the rain.

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