Greenport, the North Fork’s restaurant hub, has added a new cuisine to its roster. The Turkish eatery-market Olive Branch Café has opened in the little U-shaped shopping center across the street from Mitchell Park on Front Street.
Michelle and Yusuf Alptekin worked for more than a year to put the venture together. They were living in Massachusetts when Yusuf, a Turkish chef who has consulted on restaurants in New York and abroad, visited Greenport and fell in love. “It reminded him of Izmir,” said Michelle, referencing the resort city on Turkey’s Aegean coast.
It’s an ambitious venture. The Alptekins took over three storefronts: one for the kitchen, one for a takeout market and one for a dining room. The menu is ambitious, too, blending traditional Turkish recipes with European and American influences. There’s hummus, babaganoush and stuffed grape leaves, but quinoa fills in for bulghur in an Anatolian bat soup (think Ottoman gazpacho), and kale stars in one of the tarators, a yogurt-based appetizer. In addition to grilled kebabs are Mediterranean chicken burritos and lamb Bourguignon. Dinner starters are $8 to $13, mains from $24 to $33. Sandwiches and salads range from $12 to $16.
In fine weather, Olive Branch Café offers outdoor seating in the brick-paved plaza. Tables are shaded by giant umbrellas, and the charmingly mismatched dishes are served on huge brass trays.
Olive Branch Café, 120 Front St., Greenport, 631-333-2444