(NECN: TV Diner) - Named for a strait that sides Istanbul, Bosphorus Mediterranean Restaurant is a fairly new addition to the Inman Square dining scene in Cambridge.
Colorful walls, luxurious banquettes, dramatic lighting and inspired architecture throughout are the enticing backdrop to a menu showcasing Turkish and Mediterranean fare.
We started our taste tour with a brimming crock of manti. The poached beef dumplings in a light tomato sauce served with homemade yogurt were delicate, flavorful and completely satisfying.
But salty best describes the pan-fried Turkish cheese known as halloumi. And while co-mingling marinated vegetables had great tang, this was one dish way too high in vinegar and sodium.
Redemption came in the form of a lamb shank braised until fork-tender, wrapped in eggplant and sided by bulgur pilaf. Pure culinary genius.
Incredible also was the Sultan’s chicken. Generous cuts of chicken breast stuffed with spinach, apricots, figs, mushrooms and almonds and served over potato puree created a flavor palette we won’t soon forget.
Bosphorus limits its dessert menu to a few traditional Turkish delights.
We took great pleasure in the kunefe – shredded phyllo dough filled with fresh mozzarella, sweetened with lemon syrup and topped with pistachios.
But the star sweet was the amazing sutlac, a creamy oven-baked rice pudding served cold and kissed with vanilla and cinnamon.
Service was satisfactory on the quiet night we visited. Our waitress was certainly competent, but gave off an indifferent vibe.
Without question, generous portions and generally premium preparation equals excellent value at Bosphorus with appetizers, soups and salads $6 to $12; entrees $15 to $25; and desserts $7 to $9.
Overall, Bosphorus Mediterranean Restaurant deserves and will receive a Gold Plate.
Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday Bosphorus is located at 1164 Cambridge Street (Inman Square) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Call 617-945-2730 or visit www.bosphoruscambridge.com