Machka, the Turkish restaurant in the shadow of the Transamerica Building in the Financial District that opened in late 2012, looks the part of a sleek, urban tapas bar, with its exposed brick walls, Turkish movies playing on a silent loop, and tall bar tables and chairs, with one long communal table in the middle. All meals start with a side of Turkish pitta bread, not the flat Middle Eastern pockets we're used to, but rounds of fluffy, sesame-seed-garnished rolls brushed with butter. In terms of mezzes -- Middle Eastern and Mediterranean small plates -- lamb tartare was magnificent with bursts of fresh mint, whole grain mustard, and Moroccan argan oil; blue cheese-and-chorizo-stuffed dates are wrapped in Armenian dried beef and frying them for an effect that's nothing short of brilliant; and a beet salad was an elegant composition of red and golden beets, sliced cucumbers, and arugula, garnished with pistachios, feta cream, and a citrusy vinaigrette. Larger plates have a large price tag to match, but the kebabs and sandwich wraps are solid lunch options. A well-curated wine list includes some Turkish bottles and by-the-glass selections.
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