Entrepreneurs Omer Artun and Koray Altinsoy had a vision of creating a meyhane — the lively Turkish tavern from their native country — here in Silicon Valley. The started first with a pop-up, then a 55-seat restaurant in Sunnyvale where fans of their mesquite-grilled meats, dolma and other meze packed the tables. Clearly, there was a demand for this concept.
Tonight, the duo’s long-awaited flagship — Meyhouse Palo Alto — is opening on Emerson Street. A grand renovation has transformed what was Dan Gordon’s former barbecue/beer place into a sleek, sophisticated room that accommodates 135 diners along with a live-music stage that will feature jazz and global music starting this fall.
“We wanted to create a space that is warm, inviting and genuinely reflective of the traditional meyhane, but with a bit of an elevated, perhaps more contemporary sensibility,” Artun said in his opening-day announcement.
The menu’s gone in a more sophisticated direction, with modern riffs on their Sunnyvale classics and an emphasis on seafood. Artun, the executive chef, worked with culinary advisers Donato Scotti (Donato Enoteca) and Michael Huffman (Che Fico) to design the Palo Alto dishes.
Look for small plates of Marinated Mussels with mulberry molasses, vinegar and paprika; Californian Lamb Shoulder, grass-fed and roasted, accompanied by toasted orzo; Lemon-Cured Branzini with red peppercorn, red onion, tomato and turnip; and Braised Artichokes in olive oil with fava beans. Seasonal specials include Domates Roka, a salad of heirloom organic tomatoes, marinated red onions, arugula and pomegranate.
Among the entree highlights are a Chilean Sea Bass roasted with a Byzantian fig-ginger glaze; Deniz Kestaneli Makarna (pasta with butter-poached lobster and California sea urchin); and Lamb Chops and Aged Prime Ribeye from the grill. There’s also a fresh catch of the day.
A team from West Beverage (Nora Furst, Stephanie Gonnet, Christopher Longoria) created craft cocktails to complement the Mediterranean menu. The Cos-Mey-Politan combines citrus vodka, ginger, pomegranate, curacao, and lime, and the Pepper and Flower features tequila, mezcal, charred bell peppers, Mari Gold amaro, lime, agave and salt.
The wine list offers both California and Old World selections.
Details: Open from 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday at 640 Emerson St., Palo Alto; www.meyhousefood.com
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