Authentic Turkish cuisine can be found right here on the North Fork, tucked in the shadow of the Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center.
The Turkuaz Grill, a cozy Mediterranean restaurant a stone’s throw away from the Peconic River on McDermott Avenue in Riverhead, features fresh cooked delights from halfway across the globe.
The eatery — owned by family members Demet Bozatli, Deniz and Stafa Gulsen — specializes in shish kebabs, from classics like chicken and lamb to more exotic entrees like swordfish.
The restaurant also sells falafel, gyros and other wraps, and tasty appetizers like turkish cigars, a type of fried pastry, and grape leaves stuffed with rice, onion, currant, pine nuts and a special mix of spices.
Turquaz Grill is celebrating its third summer open this year, Ms. Bozatli said.
A petite Turkish woman with frizzy brown hair, Ms. Bozatli said the family comes from the Turkish capital of Ankara, and tries to bring flavors from their homeland to the North Fork.
“It’s mostly our taste,” she said. “We try to keep the same taste.”
Turkuaz Grill is open from noon to 9 p.m. on weekdays, and noon to 10 p.m. on weekends. The restaurant is closed on Tuesdays.
Barbaraellen Koch photo