Kemal Binici, who formerly ran French and Italian restaurants in this space, is finally serving his native food. Everything about Zeytin makes you feel at home, from the friendly service to the bright space—one wall opens to a flower-fringed patio. Authentically rendered traditional offerings include shepherd’s salad (a pile of roughly chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions and peppers tossed in olive oil and vinegar); patlican salata (charcoal-grilled eggplant pureed with garlic, lemon juice and olive oil); and yogurtlu kebab, a decadent marinated lamb dish that arrives in a copper bowl. You’ll be purring after this, so extend the evening by lapping up some sweet, sludgy Turkish coffee.
519 Columbus Ave
|Cross street:||at 85th St|
|Opening hours:||Daily noon–10:30pm|
|Transport:||Subway: B, C to 86th St|
|Price:||Average main course: $19. AmEx, DC, MC, V|