This weekend I had the pleasure of eating Turkish food for the first time at one of the best restaurants I’ve been to in Rochester at As Evi Turkish Cuisine. It’s nice to have some options that don’t always get accurate representation in cuisine. When the opportunity to try Turkish food presented itself, I just couldn’t turn it down.
The restaurant is a bit far from RIT and there aren’t any RIT buses that go this far out but if you have car and a willingness to commute then I highly suggest making the trip, especially if this is the first time you’ve had Turkish food.
As soon as you walk into the restaurant you feel as though you’ve crossed over from Rochester to Turkey. The restaurant is decorated with traditional Turkish decor, not the stuff you find from pottery barn that is mass produced, but beautiful pieces of pottery and artwork that are obviously hold a depth of tradition and meaning. The ambiance is great, the owner and employees are kind, and the food tastes like it is from another world.
Juicy, tender meat in bold sauces that can’t be found elsewhere on a bed of perfectly cooked rice pilaf and grilled vegetables. I got the iskender kebab, which is difficult to describe, but consists of thin shaved beef gyro meat covered in a spicy tomato gravy mixed generously with yogurt and grilled peppers. It’s the chef’s specialty and it’s easy to see why. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in visiting the restaurant. My wife got the chicken kebab, which was grilled with a dry rub of spices and served with a side of rice. Also, if you’re a big eater like myself then you’re in for a treat, the portion sizes are very generous. Even if you don’t finish it all in one sitting, the food makes for great leftovers.
Overall, the dinner was amazing. However, what really set them above the rest was
their baklava. The baklava was warm and coated with chewy nuts. There was even syrup on the bottom with a nice crisp bite of phyllo dough on top. Texturally, it was the best baklava we had ever tasted. The nuts were minced perfectly, and the coating of syrup was not too overpowering, tasting faintly of rose water. It was topped off with crushed pistachios, which complemented the flavors of everything quite well.
Between the phenomenal service, fair prices, and unique cuisine, it’s difficult to think of reasons why we won’t make As Evi Turkish Cuisine a regular staple in our restaurant rotation.