By Ava Stryker-Robbins
Almost every cuisine or country has its own form of dumpling: a dough casing surrounding some sort of filling, which is boiled, steamed, or fried. Manti, the type of dumpling common throughout Turkey, Armenia, and other parts of Central Asia, originated in the 13th century as a food Turkish migrants ate as they returned home from Mongolia. Similar to many other types of dumplings, it is a form of pasta wrapped around meat.
Bodrum’s manti dumplings float in garlic yogurt and fresh herbs, with butter sauce drizzled on top. The tartness of the yogurt, the savory yet sweet taste of the ground beef, and the coolness of the mint make for an excellent combination. According to an interview with Bodrum’s owner, Huseyin Ozer, “this is a dish that I used to have when I was little.” Ozer uses his mother’s recipe to create the Manti served at Bodrum. Manti is “a very time-consuming dish,” he says, that can take 2-3 hours of active work.
Bodrum has been on the Upper West Side since 2007. Ozer classifies the institution as “Turkish healthy comfort food,” and says that “here at Bodrum, I have pretty much all my favorite dishes.” His inspiration for opening it and two other restaurants on the Upper West Side, Osteria Accademia and Leyla, was his love for food. “[I am] a big foodie. I love to eat. I remember as a kid, I used to eat at home, and then if somebody invited me to dinner I would eat again.”
Ozer concludes by saying that Manti is appealing to all age groups and is a unifying dish: “it brings families together.”
Bodrum sells Manti in two sizes, the large is $19.95 and the small is $13.50.
The Dish: Manti
The Restaurant: Bodrum (584 Amsterdam Ave between W. 88th and W. 89th streets)
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