There is a long history of friendship and comradery between Turkish and Jewish people. Sam Eriske grew up in a Turkish neighborhood, which was about one third Jewish having several synagogues. In February 2020, Sam opened Bridge Turkish Grill to rekindle the mutual admiration he remembers fondly from his youth.
The restaurant décor is designed to be reminiscent of the old country - Turkey. Istanbul is a city that is divided by the Bosphorus River. One half of the city is in Asia and the other half is in Europe. There is a bridge connecting the 2 halves of the city, the owner was raised on the shores of Bosphorus within the shadows of the bridge, hence the name the Bridge Turkish Grill pays homage to our owners' hometown. They have a large mural of the “Bridge,” which customers often confuse with the George Washington Bridge. There is a 60-inch computer monitor that is constantly scrolling through pictures of Turkey from the Bazar of Istanbul to Cappadocia and includes the shul in Sam’s owner’s home neighborhood.
Bridge is the only full service genuine Turkish kosher restaurant in the U.S.A. The food and spices used in their cooking is unique to Turkish cuisine. Turkey is on the Mediterranean coast but being a transcontinental country Turkish spices and food developed differently from the traditional Mediterranean like Israeli and the surrounding area cuisine. Half the staff, including Chef Atakan, were born and raised in Turkey, allowing for a genuine Turkish experience.
Popular hot appetizers include the avocado rolls, fried crispy filo-dough filled with mashed avocado, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, fresh peas, carrots and unique herbs. Meat rolls are also popular.
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For the meal, you can’t go wrong with Tavuk Sis aka Chicken Shish Kabob, tenderloin cubes of chicken marinated in chef’s unique seasonings. The Lamb Shank is also a crowd pleaser. An even bigger crowd pleaser is the Bridge Kebab with Pistachios, which is ground lamb wrapped in a lavash bread (tortilla) flavored with garlic, red bell peppers, parsley unique herbs. and grilled on skewers with unique herbs. Fish lovers have options such as the Salmon Shish Kebab, char-grilled salmon served with rice and grilled vegetables. Vegetarians have tons of options too. There’s a whole section on the menu for them, with items like the Sabze Guvec or vegetables casserole, a Turkish dish consisting of eggplant, potatoes, garlic, celery, squash, carrots and onions in a tomato-based sauce, baked in a clay pot. Dessert options include babka and parve ice cream, and don’t forget the Turkish tea.
The Bridge offers catering, takeout, and delivery. They also host events, with seating for up to 100 guests. They offer lunch specials every day, except Sunday. The lunch special consists of one of eight items including their very popular doner kebab and vegetarian options of bamyas (baby okra) served with your choice of soup or salad. Another category of lunch specials are sandwiches served with French fries and soda.
Additionally, shabbat specials, are offered, consisting of appetizers, entrees and dessert for 4 people. The shabbat specials must be ordered by 5 on Thursday.