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BosphoRus Restaurant: Showcasing the flavors of the Ottoman Empire

Geographically, the Bosphorus, also known as the Istanbul Strait, is the strait that forms part of the boundary between Europe and Asia. And now, the exotic worlds of Turkey and Russia — two countries on the cusp of Europe and Asia, have come together — thanks to Necdet Kasimoglu and Alexander Goldansky — to form a new kind of “bosphorus.” BosphoRus Restaurant, located in Hartsdale, has been open for business for six months and has quickly become a haven for the unique flavors that were once part of the vast Ottoman Empire.

It was fate – or rather luck – that brought owners Necdet Kasimoglu from Turkey and Alexander Goldansky from Russia together here in Westchester where they were both enrolled at a Berlitz ESL course in White Plains. A restaurateur by trade, Mr. Kasimoglu has 12 years of experience, having begun his career at Turquoise Restaurant in Larchmont, first as a bus boy, working his way up to manager, and then eventually partner. While getting to know each other, the two gentlemen discovered that both were looking for a solid business opportunity and after some careful planning, BosphoRus was born.

BosphoRus in Hartsdale is an affordable neighborhood restaurant serving healthy Turkish-Mediterranean cuisine enhanced by Russian flavors. The highly skilled chef uses only the finest ingredients to bring diners one of the healthiest choices of food that can be found. Claim a spot in this bright and airy restaurant and get ready to dine and be entertained in an atmosphere that beckons to the East.

“Our philosophy is very simple,” says Mr. Kasimoglu. “BosphoRus restaurant is about great food, a relaxed atmosphere and a wonderful dining experience — perfect for everything from a quick lunch to a full course dinner.” Most selections lend themselves to sharing, which is a plus for patrons who enjoy a variety of tastes.

So what’s on the menu? Plenty. Indulge with your choice of such popular dishes as the traditional Iskender, vertically grilled lamb and beef sliced very thin, served with homemade yogurt and tomato sauce over pita bread; Hunker Begendi, a classic Ottoman dish made with chunks of lamb over smoked eggplant puree (a favorite meal of the Sultan himself!); and Siberian Pelmenti, beef dumplings served with sour cream. If seafood is more to your liking, try Tsarskie shrimp, sautéed jumbo shrimp with white wine, garlic, olive oil and tomato sauce served with spinach and bean salad. It’s a favorite special on the weekends.

And then there’s a signature Turkish dish getting ready to make its appearance on the menu due to popular demand — Imam Bayildi — eggplant stuffed with red pepper, onions, peanuts, raisins and grilled pepper with tomato on top. Its name literally means “the Imam fainted” from the deliciousness of the dish! (Imam is a Muslim prayer leader.) The ample, full-service bar features wine by the glass, $8 and $9; raki (an anise-flavored liquor), $8. Bottles range from $34 to $85 and include a few Turkish wines.

Food is just one part of the BosphoRus experience. Many interesting events take place weekly and monthly including a Salsa Dance Party every 1st Thursday of the month at 9pm (upcoming: April 5 and May 3); there’s jazz music on Fridays and live piano music every weekend; and on Saturday evenings, be dazzled by a live belly dancing performance.

Located near Hartsdale’s railway station, BosphoRus makes a convenient stop for an after-work snack or drink or for spending a leisurely evening with family or friends. The restaurant is available for private bookings up to a maximum capacity of 80 people — a perfect venue for birthday parties, anniversaries, baby showers and any special event. There’s also outside catering and delivery options. Order online and receive 10 percent off your order.

Because of its strategic location straddling Europe and Asia, Turkey has always been the historical crossroad between eastern and western cultures. BosphoRus Restaurant bridges that gap — and brings the best of Near East cuisine to Westchester.

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