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Istanbul Grill, Owner Turgut Yiğit in the Former El Ranchero Space on Wilson Blvd in Ballston

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On 6/16/2018 at 9:57 AM, cheezepowder said:

Opened on June 7, 2018, at 4617 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA (via ArlNow)

My friend and I had lunch there on Friday.  On the whole very good and I will be back for dinner once they get their liquor license.  We shared the cold mezze platter, the 2 kinds of boreks and the falafel.  Of the cold mezze, my favorite was baba ghanoush.  The others were okay but didn't excite me.  What excited me were the boreks!  Just like in Turkey maybe even better.  One was filled with cheese, the other with cheese and spinach.  Heavenly Turkish egg rolls.  The falafel was great too.  They were slow getting out the food even though the place was virtually empty but I chalk that up to new-place temporary flaws.  Service was very friendly though.

We didn't sit outside albeit the day was glorious because of the strong sun and lack of patio umbrellas.  Apparently they have them but didn't put them up yet.  All in all, head and shoulders above the latest El Ranchero incarnation.

Here is the menu they posted on Facebook.  You don't need to be a FB member to see it.  They said they are working on building a website.

Istanbul Grill Menu

Screenshot 2018-06-17 at 11.57.57.pngScreenshot 2018-06-17 at 11.58.06.pngScreenshot 2018-06-17 at 11.58.15.pngScreenshot 2018-06-17 at 11.58.25.pngScreenshot 2018-06-17 at 11.58.34.png

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Met up with some good friends for dinner here Saturday night, Wg=hen we arrie=ved they had already started on humus which was certainly pleasant if a little bland. Good pita. We added a walnut spread and babaganough orders and both were fine, especially the walnut.

Entrees consisted of a mixed grill and a grilled whole bronzino. The fish was well cooked but bland as bronzino tends to be. It came with a good arugula salad. The mixed grill was huge and it was the grill for two. Beef shish kabob was juicy, tender. The Adana was nicely spiced and unusually juicy. The donner was spectacular. Very well seasoned, crispy on one side but still juicy. There were 2 chicken chops, a flattened bit of meat with a bone attached. 

We brought a bottle of 2000 David Bruce Petite Sirah which they opened with a $20 corkage. The corkage is per table and not per bottle but we only had the one bottle. Being a 19 year old wine, I asked to pen it myself and instead of the near universal resistance to that request, the server just handed us the corkscrew.  The wine was stunning: very thick and viscous, loads of spice, very lively. It went perfectly with the spiced meats. 

The service was casual and very friendly and warm. It had a family feel to it but I don't kow if the servers are related tot he owner who checked in on us. 

We were too full for dessert. I did not see the bill but the menu pricing was pretty reasonable, especially given the quality and quantity. The food portion was under $35 a persona and we left nicely full. Good place and we will be back. I want to heck out their lunch sandwiches.

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