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Bistro Turkuaz is a long, yellow breadbox ending in a blood-red wall, behind which is a magical kitchen that produces some of the most nuanced Turkish cuisine in town. At the top of Union Street on 34th Avenue in Madrona, this family-run spot is quietly fantastic. Hummus and pita and grape leaves might all be considered casual Mediterranean staples, but not here. The pace is slow, the mood mellow, and the dishes are very thoughtfully prepared. Your waitress might razz you, and her mother, the chef, may cast an approving smile at your appetite, but the biggest characters can be found on your plate. A meze platter is decked out with hummus and baba ghanouj, triangles of pita, and tightly rolled grape leaves, with all the flavors very nicely balanced. Make sure to try the acuka, a blend of red peppers and walnuts, rich with garlic and lemon. There are kebabs among the entrées, but the best dishes are the appetizers. And afterward, dessert might just have to be a piece of baklava, stuffed with pistachios and house-made chocolate.
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