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Walking along Main St. in Greenport, you’ve probably noticed the village’s newest restaurant, ZErdem. With its bistro lights, warm decor, and an atmosphere that entices you to take a seat and dine, ZErdem serves up delicious Mediterranean bites perfect for sharing on a warm (or chilly) summer evening.  

ZErdem is the brainchild of entrepreneur and restraurnateur Zach Erdem. Born and raised in the rural mountains of Turkey, Erdem’s journey to success is a classic tale of the American Dream. He moved to the United States in 2002, starting his career as a dishwasher in New York City. Utilizing his charisma and business wits to move up in the culinary scene, Erdem purchased 75 Main, a popular Southampton restaurant, in 2010. 

Since then, Erdem maintained a reputation for creating successful dining establishments across the Hamptons, and in Florida, and his newest venture on the North Fork proves to be no different. ZErdem is his first restaurant to reflect his Turkish roots. Working with head chef Emre Yesil, the two developed a menu that represents an authentic taste of the Mediterranean coast. The friendly staff serves vibrant dips, stacked and skewered appetizers, and tantalizing entrees, ZErdem was a sensory journey of taste in good company. 

Here is what we tried during our team’s trip to ZErdem: 

Michelina De Fonte, Content Director

Zerdem Mustard Avocado 

This spread was the first thing of the evening that I sampled. Although the dish was made slightly differently than described, subbing the herbs and pickles for strawberries, it really blew me away. The smooth and creamy texture of the avocado and Greek yogurt combined was divine. None of the flavors overpowered the others. The taste was fresh and crave-able. 


I neglected to mention to Erdem – who dined with us while we tasted the menu – that I’m somewhat of a tzatziki connoisseur. Too thin, too thick, too cucumbery, too herby, are common complaints when sampling this Middle Eastern dip, but not at ZErdem. The consistency was well-balanced, the yogurt was fresh, the cucumbers were the perfect size so as to not overpower the other elements, and the mint added the perfect brightness. While a nice accompaniment for crackers or pita bread, I found myself enjoying this dip so much that I even snuck in a few bites with just my fork. 

Roasted Eggplant Salad

Don’t think traditional salad here, for me this dish also falls into the spread category. Made of roasted eggplant, vegetables, and garlic all flavors were present in each bite. The vegetables were all soft enough to spread on a triangle of pita bread. I enjoyed the consistency and temperature of this hearty salad.

Eggplant & Zucchini Chips

Impossibly thin-cut vegetables lightly fried to perfection stacked high on a base of tzatziki – this dish was a beaut. Although the “chips” could have benefited from a touch of salt, they were nicely done especially when topped with a dollop of tzatziki.


This dish was the showstopper for me. A beautiful, oversized whole fish perfectly grilled topped simply with capers and olive oil, and served with a charred lemon. The white flesh was meaty, fresh, and plentiful. The skin is a perfect crisp. Best of all, the fish is served impeccably fillet inviting you to dig right in. But you’d never know the fish was touched by a knife just by looking at it. I already can’t wait to go back just to have this (and the tzatziki) once again.

Lilly Parnell, Lifestyle Reporter 

Roasted Beetroot with Creamy Greek Yogurt

My eye was immediately drawn to the bright pink dip that was placed in front of me at the beginning of our meal. This spread was the ultimate contrast of flavors. The creamy Greek yogurt was tangy and sour, blending seamlessly with the earthy roasted notes of the beets. With mellow hints of garlic and chopped pistachios – this dip is the perfect symphony of sweet and savory. Plus, it is the perfect shade of Barbie pink, the color of the summer. 

Beef Carpaccio

Prior to our dinner, I looked up the menu and was instantly interested in trying the beef carpaccio. I’m the first to admit that the majority of foods, including raw beef, tend to not phase or deter me; the carpaccio at ZErdem was no different. But unlike the typical Italian version, which sees the paper-thin slices of beef spread flat on a plate, Chef Yesil’s version is rolled, almost like sushi. Crispy saltines and fresh arugula are stuffed inside the ultra-tender beef. Topped with toasted pine nuts, parmesan, a subtle truffle oil, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze and tangy mustard – this beef carpaccio ticked all the flavor boxes: fatty, salty, and earthy. The only suggestion I would have liked would be a little hint of an acid, like a squeeze of lemon, to really tie all the flavors together. 


I know I just stated that food doesn’t scare me, but I kind of lied: I’m scared of overcooked, well-done steak. Erdem described this dish as cubes of filet-mignon and looking down to see no traces of pink or red in the filet, I was hesitant. However, I was sorely mistaken. The cubed pieces of meat, marinated in a blend of Middle Eastern spices and olive oil and cooked on a skewer over coles, melted in my mouth. It was ultra-juicy and tender, served with charred red onions, a shishito pepper, and a cherry tomato, and laid atop a bed of creamy mashed potatoes. I was pleasantly surprised and amused at my initial apprehension. I brought the small amount of leftovers home to my boyfriend that night and upon eating the whole thing in less than a minute, he said it was one of the best steaks he ever had. 

Tres Leches Cake

At ZErdem, a rotation of different desserts is served, guaranteeing the option to try something new almost every time you visit. This tres leches cake – made with coconut milk and shreds of coconut – was decadent. Not too sweet, the cake was fluffy and creamy and the perfect refreshing dessert for a summer evening spent outside. 

ZErdem, located at 314 Main St. in Greenport, is open seven days a week from 5 to 10:30 p.m. and on Fridays until 11 p.m. To browse the rest of their menu, head to their social media, and to make a reservation, call (631) 477-6540.