dish buzz: zilli

I’m usually an informed eater, planning where I am going to eat in advance based upon published reviews or recommendations from friends. This weekend, however, I randomly stumbled upon Zilli in Park Slope with some friends. We were drawn in by the patio, which is bordered by trees trimmed in white lights. However, it was the cozy interior and the canopied lounge area that convinced us to stay.

Zilli is a Turkish restaurant, and the traditional Mediterranean starters didn’t disappoint. The babaganush was a perfect appetizer, and came with fresh warm cubes of bread. Also available were other standards like hummus and grape leaves, which were all between $7 and $7.50.

For those looking for more standard fare, Zilli offers sandwiches for $7.50 and salads ranging from $6 to $8. However, my friends and I were intrigued by the specialties on the menu, which ranged from $7 to $13.95. Our server suggested the Kusbasili Pide, which is a Turkish pizza of sorts topped with lamb, onion, green peppers, tomatoes, parsley, and spices. The lamb was well-seasoned and moist, and the spices used along with the cheese were excellent.

Sis Kebabs and Pides, ZilliThey also have a variety of sis kebabs. Their chicken sis kebab included two skewers, each with four large chunks of chicken, accented with tomatoes and onions. It went perfectly with the rice and side salad that accompanied it. The sis kebabs ranged from $13.95 to $17.95, or if you want, they also had a combination order for $21.95 which included some of each option (two types of lamb and chicken).

Baklava, ZilliAnd what would a trip to a Mediterranean restaurant be without baklava? You can choose between a walnut (if they aren’t out, as they were on Sunday) and pistachio varieties. The portion was perfect to share, including four rectangular pieces. It was quite good, but a bit heavier on the honey than some others I have had.

Overall, Zilli is great place for a dinner with friends. It was easy to carry on a conversation, and it was very comfortable– but even better when the weather agrees. Definitely confirmation that I need to eat more often in Brooklyn!

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