If you are in the mood for Turkish fare, you might find yourself at Bosphorus, a cozy restaurant tucked away in downtown Cary’s town limits. Though seating is somewhat limited inside for now, snagging a table may no longer be a problem in the near future as the space next door is currently being renovated for an additional dining room.
As you quizzically ponder the name of the restaurant (Bosphorus is the strait between Asia and Turkey), you might find yourself dipping into a mezze dish of baba ghannouj. The complimentary house-made pide flatbread becomes a perfectly pliant transportation device to my mouth for the creamy roasted eggplant mash. From my booth, I see a cook through the open kitchen laboriously knead a gigantic mound of bread dough as I snack on the crispy crust of the pide and consumedly revel in his hard work.
As harried servers whiz by tending to nearby tables, you scan through the menu, a veritable potpourri of Turkish delights of the savory sort with cold and hot mezze and flavorful entrees comprised of grilled, herb-spiced meats and vegetables served with creamy yogurt and tahini sauces. The pideler, or Turkish pizzas, may become particularly enticing as the wafting smells of Turkish meats and pungent Turkish cheeses cocooned inside their canoe-like crust exit out of the kitchen and moor to their beckoning guests in the dining area.
You might finally settle on the kofta kabob as you hear the Amtrak train whistle by the nearby Cary train depot station. If you do, you will receive a generous portion of flame-broiled, spice-crusted ground lamb and beef medallions fanned atop a bed of golden, fluffy bulgur pilaf. The caramelized sheen of the kofta gives visceral hint of their unctuous juiciness.
Your dining partner might instead opt for the ali nazik, a traditional Turkish dish made with nubs of tender lamb smothered by an avalanche of crimson, robust marinara and buoyed in a well of tangy garlic-yogurt sauce.
If you have enough room, you might spring for a cup of Turkish coffee to finish your meal, but not without a foreboding warning from the server that the coffee “will you keep you up all night”. The finely ground coffee sediment sinks to the bottom of the demitasse cup, lasting evidence of not only the concentration, but the scrupulous preparation of Turkish coffee.
At its modest cost, Bosphorus makes a strong case for repeat visits. The restaurant does not serve alcohol, but will allow you to bring your own bottle of wine to enjoy with your meal.