Orhan Yegen, the talented if somewhat bombastic owner of Sip Sak, today added another restaurant to his Midtown holdings with the opening of Bi Lokma on East 45th Street.
A visit earlier this afternoon found the narrow restaurant bustling with office workers who crowded around small tables heaped with bowls of hot yogurt soup and platters of baked meatballs, lamb, and vegetables. Although there isn’t yet a takeout menu, you can order food to go in the back of the restaurant, where Yegen and his staff were feverishly filling orders, portioning rice, chicken, and tabouli into foil takeout containers.
The menu, which is printed in chalk above the kitchen, is full of the traditional Turkish foods that Yegen built his reputation interpreting. It also includes red lentil soup, beef stew with rice, both raw and cooked kibbe, chicken gyros, and hummus. We ordered the latter (priced at $4) to go, and found it was as good as the version Yegen serves at Sip Sak: Thick, creamy, and redolent of garlic, it was a generously portioned reminder of the chef’s softer side.
212 East 45th Street