Babylon opens gateway to Turkish cuisine in South Beach

The who: Partners Orhan Duz, Sinan Kilinc and Ahmet Demir have tapped executive chef Ali Cinar, who hails from Antep, Turkey.

The space: An eye-catching garden festooned with evil-eye medallions provides nice respite from the South Beach fray. The indoor dining rooms is outfitted with mosaic light fixtures and Turkish fabrics and artwork.

The dishes: Classic Turkish meze and kebabs.

Prices are affordable: small plates $6-$13 and mains $16-$25.

You can make a meal of the delicious meze options like haydari, a strained Turkish yogurt with fresh spices and olive oil, and enginar, a whole fresh artichoke simmered with carrots, potatoes, peas and herbs along with freshly baked flatbread.

Impressive entrées include stuffed cabbage filled with beef and rice as well as a ground-lamb skewer wrapped in lavash bread. Desserts include sweet rice pudding, classic baklava and Turkish flan. Compliment the sticky sweetness with a cup of bitter Turkish coffee.

The Bottom Line: A nicely appointed Turkish restaurant making an effort to bring back a little of the Ottoman period’s panache.

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