514 Park Blvd. Massapequa Park, NY 516-543-4258
When Funda Duygun took over as chef-owner of this simply appointed Turkish restaurant, she elevated the food from very good to great. There?s an almost startling clarity and intensity of flavor in her assortment of cold meze or dips: hummus, ezme (a spicy vegetable salad) and baba ghanoush, to be spread on warm, house-baked bread. Pide, a pillowy oblong pastry, may be had with a variety of fillings. Then there are Duygun?s juicy kebabs and expertly grilled fish. Finish with a rich and fragrant baked rice pudding.Hours:
Lunch and dinner, Tuesday to Saturday; closed Monday.Ambience:
There's been a change for the better at Ephesus Mediterranean & Turkish Cuisine in Massapequa Park. Good as the modest-looking restaurant originally was, new chef-owner Funda Duygun takes it to a higher level.
To start, an assortment of cold appetizers ($11.95) included ezme, a spicy vegetable salad, tahini-rich hummus, a vibrant patlican salatasi, eggplant salad, and garlicky babaghanoush, eggplant puree. Flavors were almost startling in clarity and intensity. Served alongside: warm house-baked bread.
From the oven came a pide, the Turkish version of pizza, topped with a black, red and green pepper-spiked potato puree. The pillowy oblong pastry, cut into triangles, put me in mind of a very good knish.
Since a fish delivery had just come in, I went with a whole grilled branzino as a main course. Not only was it expertly seasoned and grilled, but at $17, was the equal of the $39 whole branzino I tasted recently at a trendy North Fork restaurant. Chicken shish kebab ($13.95), featured grilled cubes of moist white meat with a bulgur pilaf and grilled vegetables. Dessert was a rich and fragrant baked rice pudding ($4.25) served in a homestyle crock.
Ephesus Mediterranean & Turkish Cuisine is at 514 Park Blvd., Massapequa Park, 516-543-4258.
Above: Assorted dips and spreads at Ephesus Mediterranean & Turkish Cuisine in Massapequa Park