Restaurant Review: Pera Turkish Kitchen in Dallas

Pera’s dolmas. (Photography by Kevin Marple)
Pera’s dolmas. (Photography by Kevin Marple)

In Dallas, until recently, a Mediterranean restaurant meant a Greek restaurant. Hungry Turcophiles subsisted under a Hellenic hegemony—with its imprecise renditions of Turkish dishes, and the Greek names to boot. But in the last few years, a handful of Turkish restaurants have planted the flag. The newest and best is Pera. Our waiter was a wiry Eurasian translation of Sean Penn. He was prompt, darting like a squirrel to bring us a basket of pide bread—circular pillows of sesame-sprinkled greatness. We introduced the bread to flavorful appetizers: saksuka, a sautéed melange of cool eggplant, zucchini, and carrots; and ezme, a lively blended salad with pepper paste, pomegranate, and molasses. Then the red-lentil soup arrived. Amid the menu’s exotica of Turkish transliteration, it’s easy to overlook the humbly titled offering. Don’t make that mistake.

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