By Priya Konings
The family-owned Ankara opened this week, bringing delicious Turkish fare to the 19th street restaurant scene in Dupont, which is home to Boqueria, Mai Thai, and I Ricci, but so far, does not have a fine dining Mediterranean venue.
The new venue has a warm, sleek dining room with large glass windows, plenty of seating, and a full bar. An outdoor patio is also available for seating. They will be serving lunch, dinner, and happy hour on weekdays from 5-7 p.m.
Now let’s get to the nitty-gritty: the food. Chef Jorge Chicas comes from Zaytinya, and his familiarity with Turkish cuisine comes shining through in most of the dishes he makes.
The menu has loads of mezze, which are Mediterranean small plates, as well as a plethora of pides, or Turkish flatbreads. The mezze is plentiful enough to make a meal of: sample sigara boregi, which are cheese filled phyllo cigars, hearty grape leaves stuffed with rice and currents, watermelon and feta salad, zucchini fritters, lentil meatballs, roasted cauliflower, marinated olives, and more. The pide are cooked in a wood-fired oven, and come with a variety of toppings. The roasted eggplant is meaty and delicious, as is the spinach and onion pide and the simple cheese pide.
The wine list has a great variety of Turkish and European wines, and a taste of raki, the Turkish national drink, is highly recommended. Not if you have to walk in a straight line or speak coherent sentences afterwards though.