Every once in a while my wife and I get to go out on a date! Recently, somebody took our kids for the night so we decided to get dressed up and do it right. No children meant no Dominos, no Burger King. No, we were going to a cloth-napkin and six-piece-silverware-setting kind of restaurant.
CAVERNA RESTAURANT – FINE DINING
The Caverna Restaurant is a fine dining establishment located next to the Yunak Evleri Cave Hotel in Ürgüp. I think it might be the best kept secret in Cappadocia! The restaurant is gorgeous. The food is outstanding. And Executive Chef Ramazan not only delivered a meal worthy of praise but hospitality as well. It was really fun to be out on the town with my wife and have the culinary expert come to our table for a visit! His interpersonal skills are only outdone by his creativity in the kitchen.
Ramazan Ertürk, is a man with a vision. Having garnered national acclaim (he cooks for the Turkish national team in international competitions), multiple awards and certificates, I asked him how, with all that experience, he ended up in Cappadocia and not Istanbul?
“After working in hotels with 3000 person buffets, and leading a crew of 350 personnel, I needed a break. Cappadocia is really peaceful and a great place to rest.” But that was only part of his calling to this area. His primary vision is to work alongside the chefs here and make Cappadocia a gastronomy tourist destination. To which I say a hearty, “Amen!”
Just 32 years old, Ramazan has paid his dues in rather short order to achieve his national fame. “I had a chef that wouldn’t let me leave the kitchen for three days. I slept on the counter top,” Ramazan testified as to how he got to where he is. With his passion and energy for his craft, he has apprenticed under some of the finest chefs in Turkey. He also developed himself by working in Georgia and Dubai.
GOURMET FOOD IN CAPPADOCIA
My wife and I were quite pleased with our meal. She ordered Chicken Tikka Masala and I had lamb shank. The Masala was particularly delicious, with both a red and a white cream sauce. In hindsight, we would have ordered a plate of rice to stretch the rich flavor a tad. My lamb was both a generous portion and tender. The demi-glaze sauce was wonderful. But the au gratin potatoes actually stole the show. With the cheesy cream sauce placed under the broiler to a golden brown crispiness complementing the perfectly tender potatoes, I hesitated to share a bite with my wife! We also loved the seafood stuffed red pepper meze (appetizer) and the shrimp salad. Sprinkled with dried herbs and lemon, it wasn’t overly flavorful but allowed for the fresh taste of the baby shrimp to come through. Add to that the chocolate mousse and panna cotta dessert and we were sufficiently satisfied and enjoyed the rest of our evening by the fireplace next to which we sat.
We thoroughly enjoy Turkish food, but are sometimes left wanting more than the standard kebab, tomato and pepper dishes that every restaurant offers. Thankfully we have found a place where we can splurge a little and enjoy some international cuisine along with a greater variety of Turkish food.
Google Maps Coordinates: 38.633220, 34.907796
Panoramic view of the elegant dining room with beautiful views out every window.
If you are looking for a fine dining experience, in a beautiful restaurant, with outstanding views, and the highest quality food, you are looking for Caverna!
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