At the West Village’s newest antique shop-cum-wine bar, the frog sits in the window, the Turks hang out behind the bar, and the Manhattanites sit all around. Opened this month by brothers Osman and Orhan Cakir, Turks & Frogs is a cozy den decorated with the shop’s wares: glowing lanterns, hand-painted ceramics, 19th-century urns. Its subtle bohemian charm draws young professionals from the moneyed nabe who slum it on the cracked leather sofa in back. There are more than 60 wines from around the world to sniff and swirl, and many are offered by the glass ($6 to $12). Can’t decide? Orhan will gladly let you sample before committing. The Kavaklidere Okuzgozu d’Elazig 2001 ($9), a spicy, semi-dry red from Turkey, is perfect to sip with a plate of fresh cheeses, Turkish pastrami, pitas, and cold patlican salatasi (a roasted-eggplant puree, $10 for two). For something drier, the Shiraz Bleasdale 2001, with a sharp berry finish, was worth the $12. Beers include Stella, Beck’s, and the Turkish brand Efes (all $6 a bottle). By the end of the night, you may end up taking home a frog (he is an antique, after all).
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 14, 2004