When I acquired multiple media outlets in Manhattan, I got to meet new interesting people and places. Last week I visited a decades-old Turkish restaurant and neighborhood institution on the Upper East Side with a new owner who went from handling real estate to joining the restaurant business.
An old friend brought me to Uskudar, a remarkable Turkish cuisine restaurant named for an Istanbul neighborhood that has survived, expanded and flourished for more than 32 years. They are unique in ways beyond their menu. One partner in the business, Ibrahim Ozdemir, is Muslim and the other, Jacob Beri, is Israeli. They work well together through clearly defined and respected responsibilities.
That’s not an easy task for any business, but they have done it, with Ozdemir being the professional chef who keeps his dishes consistent and his partner, the handsome and well-spoken Beri, who watches the front of the house, making for a winning formula.
And then there is the food; I enjoyed multiple dishes with my friend.
We began with appetizers such as cacik, a rich yogurt with shaved cucumber enhanced with garlic and dill — delicious! Then we had Patlican baby eggplant salad with garlic and herbs, well-balanced and not heavy handed with garlic.
Many dishes are similar to what you find on most Mediterranean restaurant menus but here is unique dish that one I particularly enjoyed: Sudjuk, a grilled Turkish cured beef sausage. Don’t miss it! There are multiple salads including Marul, a crispy combination of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers with a rich, juicy feta cheese.
For our main course, we enjoyed chargrilled lamb dishes including lamb patties (Kofte) and lamb Adana, skewered with mouth-watering seasonings. If you’re not into lamb, there are multiple chicken and vegetarian dishes to enjoy.
Of course, I had to have the traditional and flaky Baklava but I was blown away by the Kayisi, a simple poached apricot topped with almonds and fresh whipped cream — a perfect blend of textures and flavors, and a great way to end the meal.
Uskudar, located at 750 Second Ave., is easily accessible and open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner. Try it — you too will love it!
River Cafe great for over 40 years
I enjoyed a treat of all treats — dinner last week at the incomparable River Cafe under the watchful eye for 40 years of the consummate restaurateur, Buzzy O’Rourke.
Tucked away under the stately Brooklyn Bridge is this gem of a restaurant that makes me feel special the minute I drive up the cobblestone driveway enhanced by sparking lit trees and then welcomed into the flower-filled entry foyer.
My seat at the window overlooking the East River (where I watched the constant passing of ferry boats) made me feel like I was on a boat overlooking the sparkling Manhattan skyline. The River Cafe has not just survived on its unique setting, but rather on the quality of the prix-fixe, three-course meal with great service.
River Cafe is located at 1 Water St. in Brooklyn.
An innovative podiatrist
For years, my feet have betrayed me with my second toe being longer than my others. Some people told me that it meant I was of royal heritage!
For me, it’s been a search for help, always discounting surgery because I remember my mom was off her feet for weeks and that is not possible for me and my busy lifestyle.
So when I heard of Dr. Andrew Glass, I wanted to meet him and hear more about a procedure of minimally invasive work on my tendon.
He also offers minimally invasive surgery to remove bunions that cause many people great pain.
He uses an anesthetist to work with him and compares it to having a colonoscopy. I’ll keep you posted when I have the procedure.
In the meantime check out Dr. Glass’ website, nymidtownpodiatry.com.