On a recent trip to New York City to attend the annual Brazilian Day festival we booked a room in New Jersey across the river. We wanted to have a nice meal our first night in town so we looked to Yelp to get some ideas. I plugged into the Yelp search engine the name of the town we were staying (Clifton, New Jersey) and did a search for local restaurants. In reviewing the results I noticed a large amount of Turkish and Mediterranean hits. I decided to narrow the search to Turkish restaurants and took a deep dive into the local results. After looking at the reviews and uploaded pictures we chose The Bosphorus.
We set our GPS coordinates to the listed address and to our surprise when we arrived we found a sushi restaurant at the indicated location. We called the restaurant and they explained that they were located on the back of the sushi place. We drove around to the back of the building and we saw the sign for The Bosphorus. They had a couple of tables for outdoor seating and the parking was free as opposed to metered street parking on the front side of the building.
It was about 7:00 PM when we made our way into the small interior seating area. There were about 10-12 tables with about half of them reserved. There was no wine list as the establishment was BYOB. There was a liquor store nearby according to our waiter. We took our seats and then visited the restrooms which were small but clean.
The presentation for both of these items was exceptional. Definitely picture worthy and something you almost did not want to disturb to eat. As for the taste I will let Alex give his review; “If the salad tastes this good how good is the desert going to be!” Alex was right the salad was outstanding with fresh ingredients and spectacular presentation. It was big enough for the three of us to share and have some leftover to take home. The appetizer sampler was also well presented with decorated carved vegetables adorning the plate. The grape leaves were standard Mediterranean fare and quite tasty. The Cacik was finely chopped cucumbers mixed with garlic, mint and dill in a yogurt sauce. Cool and refreshing. The babaganoush and hummus are the well known items you will find in the grocery store but with infinitely better quality. All of these items were delicious scooped up with the warm pita bread brought out to the table with olive oil and zatar seasoning when you first arrive.
For the main course we ordered the calamari from the appetizer menu and the mixed grill plate. As beverages we ordered the Turkish yogurt drink Ayran and some hot Turkish tea. The Ayran was not really to our liking but the tea was strong and very good. The calamari was perfectly seasoned and cooked and all three of us happily devoured it. Rita is not a fan of lamb but did like the other meats on the mixed grill. I enjoyed all of the meats and kebabs and also thought the green beans and rice were very good.
Our biggest disappointment was that we were all too full to get desert. I had read that both the quality of the desert menu and the presentation of the Turkish coffee were highlights but we will have to wait for our next visit to see for ourselves.
In summary this was a fantastic restaurant experience made all the better by our wonderful waitress and fantastic staff.
If you are anywhere near the area discovering this place will be well worth the effort.