Orkun Ayrac, his cousin Emrah Gulum, and Gulum’s wife Pembe have opened Otto Turkish Cuisine at 1043 S. Charles St. in Federal Hill. Otto is subleasing the space from Grano Pasta Bar, which closed in January.
The Otto team is originally from Turkey and is bringing Turkish family recipes to the new restaurant. They have many years of experience in the restaurant industry.
Everything served at Otto is made in house. The menu includes cold and hot appetizers, main dishes, and desserts. According to Ayrac, popular items include Manti, which is Turkish beef dumplings topped with yogurt and garlic butter, and Shish Kebab Wraps, which can be made with beef, ground lamb, or chicken and are topped with imported Turkish spices. Ayrac is excited to introduce the area to the Otto Burger, a Turkish take on the American classic.
Appetizers include hummus, baba ghanoush, cig kofte, and calamari, and desserts include baklava, cheesecake, and brownies. For drinks, Otto offers Turkish black tea, homemade mint lemonade, an orange soda imported ftom Turkey, American sodas, and Otto’s yogurt drink. Otto is also BYOB.
Otto seats about 10 people and offers carryout, as well as delivery through many online partners. The Otto team made some updates to the former Grano space by adding in low-top table seating, replacing a bar top, and adding some kitchen equipment. The space has many reclaimed wood accents and features counter seating facing the window.
Otto will be open Sunday through Thursday from 11am to 11pm, and Friday and Saturday from 11am to 2am.
Ayrac told SouthBMore.com that opening Otto is a dream that was a long time in the making. “We are really excited and we’re going to have fun,” he said. “We like Federal Hill because there are a lot of young people and we are young too. We are happy to bring a Turkish restaurant to the area.”
Emrah Gulum and Orkun Ayrac