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Take a Look Inside DC’s New Gorgeous Turkish Restaurant

Restaurateur Hakan Ilhan turns to his native Turkey for Ottoman Taverna, opening Monday, May 2 in the Mt. Vernon Triangle neighborhood. While nearby sister concepts Alba Osteria and L’Hommage touch down in Italy and France, respectively, this is Ilhan’s first ode to his homeland.

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Istanbul native Ilhan Erkek has been tapped to lead the kitchen, and comes from head chef positions at Ritz-Carlton hotels in his home city, and more recently in Naples, Florida. The menu includes a variety of mezze (small plates), as well as pide flat breads and more traditional entree-size portions. Certain dishes run traditional, including a variety of grilled kebabs cooked in a charcoal pit, doner roasted slowly on the spit, and grandma-inspired ravioli stuffed with beef and smothered in garlicky yoghurt sauce. You’ll also find more modern interpretations, such as fattoush salad with grilled calamari or confit garlic hummus.

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The wine list draws from a wide swath of the Mediterranean, including Greek, Turkish, Italian, and Israeli varietals. Guests can sample during weeknight happy hour, with runs from 4 to 7, and includes a mezze menu of items $6 and under, such as stuffed mussels, crispy flatbread topped with ground lamb, and goat cheese pide.

Atlanta-based designer Matt Norris is behind the airy decor, which channels the Mediterranean. Though I Street isn’t exactly the Aegean Sea, a 46-seat outdoor patio will be a pretty place to relax over a bottle of Turkish rosé in warm weather.

Ottoman Taverna. 425 I St., NW Suite #107; 202-847-0395.

Tuesday through Thursday, 4 to 11; Friday and Saturday, 4 to midnight.

Open (May 2) for dinner, Sunday and Monday 4 to 10


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February 2018
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