The Black Sea Restaurant brings the taste of Istanbul to Gem Lake

The food at Black Sea Restaurant is authentic Turkish fare, mainly because husband-and-wife owners Tolga and Cigdem Ata hail from Turkey. The first Black Sea Restaurant opened in 2000 in St. Paul, and when Tolga Ata took over the restaurant four years ago, he got to share a little bit of his homeland with Minnesota. From the pictures on the wall to the décor, and even what’s on the television, the Black Sea Restaurant is like a mini-tour of Turkey. And now folks in the White Bear Lake area can experience this Turkish delight.

While the menu offers a wide variety of Turkish items, including kebabs, sandwiches and desserts, the best-sellers at the Black Sea Restaurant are the traditional doner dishes. This method involves cooking seasoned meat—lamb, beef or chicken—on a vertical rotating spit. Entrées range from the doner kebab at $8.15 to a three-person kebab entrée for $29.65, to fit most every budget.

1581 E. County Road E; 651.484.0600; hours: 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Read the story here!