Mon-Thu, 11:30am-11pm; Fri-Sat, 11:30am-midnight; Sun, 11am-11pm
1, 2, 3 at 96th St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
75th St. to 125th St., Central Park West to Riverside Dr.
Entering Turkuaz is like walking through the wardrobe and finding yourself in another world: Brisk Broadway vanishes and a grand tented banquet hall appears beyond the dark wood-paneled bar and the sensually inviting lounge, set with low-slung sofas. Turkish music plays in the background and, to complete the scene, the wait staff wears traditional garb. Like the dramatic setting, the food is rich, opulent, and prepared with an eye to style as well as to comfort. Grilled spiced meats and thick yogurt sauces, accompanied by soft, glazed Turkish bread, are the mainstays, but Turkuaz offers other gems, presented with ceremony: The tarama, a whipped caviar appetizer, is sumptuously decadent; sigara boregi pack a creamy cheese filling inside tightly rolled tubes of phyllolike pastry. Mains are still more extravagant. Hünkar Begendi delivers moist chunks of grilled chicken or lamb on creamy eggplant purée, and the many-layered iskander kebap provides a taste of just about everything—beef and lamb and toasted bread, smothered in thick tomato sauce. After generous helpings of a few of these delicacies, the belly-dancing seem almost puritanical.Belly Dancing
Fri.–Sat., 9:30 p.m.–10 p.m.
At lunch, the restaurant offers a three-course prix fixe for $14.95; Sundays between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., there’s an open buffet.
Tarama, $7.95; sigara boregi, $8.95; iskender kebap, $18.50; Hünkar Begendi, $18.95