CINAR TURKISH RESTAURANT
Cinar Turkish Restaurant has been on our radar for quite some time. My wife and I had never had Turkish Food and when we saw the sign go up on the old Ranchero Cantina, we were very curious. We tried our luck today and figured that we would give them a shot. As we drove into the parking lot, we were not sure if they were open. There was not real way to tell as there was no open sign and the place looked empty. We did go at an odd time though (3:00) and that definitely could have been the reason that there was no one in the restaurant. We were overjoyed when we went to open the door and it was not locked. As we entered we were greeted by the owner of the restaurant. We had a small discussion with him as he was very pleasant and friendly. We told him that we tried to look on Cinar's website to look at the menu and we weren't able to. He told us the website was still under construction and it should be up soon. They have been open for about three weeks and are still finishing up some of the ins and outs. He seemed sincere and I was happy about the honesty.
When walking into Cinar, you notice the same layout and as it's predecessor Ranchero Cantina. There was no reason to change the floor plan as it worked well with the space. They did change the decore and appearance of each room though. This was a huge upgrade in my opinion. I always found Ranchero Cantina very dark and depressing. Cinar was full of light and energenic. I was blown away by the difference. My wife also noticed addtional seating in the back of the restaurant that we had not seen or noticed before. The owner told us that there used to be a billards room in the back, which we didn't know about as guests of Ranchero. As much as I love playing pool, I was happy with the change. I was growing more excited for this experience at this point.
I just want to get this out of the way. The Peach Cosmo was good, but it did not have any peach flavor to it. My wife found it refreshing and tasty, but just lacked the peach. This recipe may need to be revisited.
The food on the other had was really something. We started off with the Zucchini Pancakes. The flavor and spices incorporated into the dish were simply delicious. It was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. I wish I could have had another order.
I ordered the Filet Mignon Kebab. The meat was cooked to a perfect medium rare and melted in my mouth. I could not pinpoint the flavors of the spicies used on the rice/orzo mix, but it was remarkable. The vegetables tasted fresh with a nice crispy. I loved loved this dish.
My wife had the Shepherd Salad. On the menu it comes with a chopped salad mix, tomatoes, cucumber, red onions and green peppers tossed in extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, herbs and tangy sumac. It's a $12 salad. She added feta cheese to it for an additional $3 and grilled chicken to it for an additional $5. It ended up being a $20 salad after everything is all said and done. Guess what? My wife said that it was worth every penny. The salad itself was fresh and light. The chicken was grilled and seasoned perfectly. The feta added that last bit of delight for her. Well done Cinar.
We came to the end of our meal and we were visited again by the owner. He was overjoyed with how much we were enjoying our experience. He told us that he put in an order oftheir signature dessert for us and that it would be on the house. How could we refuse? The Poached Pear came out and we were floored not only by the presentation but also the flavors in this dessert. The pear is poached in red wine and it was sweet and not over powering at all. The Turkish pulled sugar (Pismaniye) was like a soft cotton candy that complimented the vanilla ice cream and pear perfectly. There was not much pastachio in the dessert, it was more of a garnish. But it still was a nice touch. Simply amazing.
We also ordered Baklava. I'm not going to go into the Baklava that much. It's Baklava. Baklava is incredible. Sooo good.
I also ordered the Turkish Coffee. Think expresso but with a stronger flavor. I did not put any sugar or lemon peel (I take a lemon twist with my expresso). It did not need it. The flavor was great on its own.
To say that we had a great experience would be an understatement. The staff and the owner all know how to be hospitible and be great hosts. We are excited to go again and next time we will bring our daughter. I give Cinar 4 out of 5 stars. I do want to go back at a busier time to see if they can uphold these great standards that I experienced that providing. Thank you Cinar. Like I said, we will be back.
By the way, the picture above is the check presenter. Classy untill the end. What a nice touch.
Cinar Turkish Restaurant is located:
214 Kinderkamack Road
Emerson, NJ 07630
Phone: (201) 523-9284
Fax: (201) 523-9286
Cinar is open 7 days
Cinar offers take out, delivery and catering (private room available)
They also have two other locations in Cliffside Park, NJ and West Caldwell, NJ