A Turkish Delight
PIRIS GRILL: 4 Welwyn Rd.,
Great Neck, (516) 487-1070
HOURS: Tues. through Sun., 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.
CUISINE: Mediterranean, Seafood Specialties
HANDICAPPED ACCESSIBLE: Yes
CREDIT CARDS: Discover and Master Card
Piris Grill has been open for three months, but
dont let that fool you. Restaurant owner Piri Elmas and his family ran a seafood
restaurant in Istanbul, Turkey for nearly 50 years, attracting such celebrities as Burt
Lancaster and Marlon Brando. Now after living in the United States for nearly 20 years,
Elmas has brought the aura of the Mediterranean to Long Island.
Near the entrance, a photographic montage introduces the
dinner to the Turkish world; scenes of boat-lined docks in Istanbul and a young Piri
displaying a gallery of fish. The interior decor of the restaurant is memorable; black
fish nets hang from the ceiling, and the brick-work along the walls tricks the senses into
believing they are in a place very close to the sea.
Oil-style lamps line the walls as a wide selection of music
from classical guitar to Broadway sets the mood. On Friday and Saturday nights, the
restaurant hosts live performances, from jazz to traditional Turkish music. Elmas says
sometimes his restaurant erupts into a dance floor as people hear a type of music not
My guest and I began our meal with an assortment of bread,
including garlic bread. The Faccio was the highlight of this portion, a lively bread
filled with sun dried tomatoes which invite the mouth to chew faster. Next I had the Coban
($4.95), a shepherd salad diced with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, peppers, and
parsley and a red wine-based vinaigrette dressing. A sprinkling of cheese on the salad
added an extra kick to an already leaping toss. Piris also has about 20 different
hot and cold appetizers which range from $3.50 to $7.50.
For the main course, I ordered the Shrimp Shish Kebab
($16.95), and my guest ordered the Shrimp Scampi ($15.95) The Shish Kebab was marinated
with olive oil, wine and lemon, and served with tomatoes, rice potato, and seasoned
vegetables including eggplant. The collage of colors on the plate was almost as pleasing
to the eyes as it was to the mouth. Although we both had shrimp, our dinners did not taste
alike. My grilled shish kebab was large and crispy; the scampi had a smoother taste.
For dessert we were served a fruit platter ($3.95), a
succulent dish of juicy melon, sliced oranges, grapes, and the fruit of the summer,
watermelon. The fruit was a perfect way to end an imaginative escape to the Middle East.