Ottoman Taverna Ottoman Taverna

Ottoman Taverna Awards

Elegant Turkish cuisine in a sumptuous setting.
Openings: Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner nightly, Brunch Sat.-Sun.

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Ottoman Taverna, Washington, DC


Ottoman Taverna Restaurant Review:


If you think of the opulence of Turkey and the Ottoman Empire, you might also understand the lengths to which owner Hakan Ilhan, a native of Turkey, has gone to re-create those days. But besides the glamour and glitz, a main draw of this Mt. Vernon restaurant is its Turkish food. The menu is extensive, as is the wine list, and both may puzzle newcomers to the cuisine. But Ilhan’s staff knows the product, from zeytinyagli enginar (artichoke hearts, carrots, peas and potatoes in a kind of stew) to the fresh labneh yogurt and stuffed grape leaves. These are just some of the starters, as the menu moves on to soups and salads; hot and cold meze (small plates) and breads, perhaps topped with ground lamb; and mains that include kebabs, moussaka, delicate ravioli stuffed with ground beef, and braised lamb shank served over eggplant purée. Lunch and brunch menus are just as enticing. Baklava is tender and flaky, but the oven-baked rice pudding puts an exclamation point at the end of the meal. Finish with Turkish coffee.

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