The thing I will remember the most about Deniz is unfortunately the overbearing, slightly condescending service. I recently ate here with a friend during lunch, and we both chose the well-priced ($9.95, definitely a good value) lunch special, which gives you one appetizer and main course. The waiters feigned courtesy when asking us multiple times if we wanted something else to drink or another look at the alcohol list. "No dessert?" How uncivilized we must have looked to them, but when it was clear our bill would not top $20, it seemed like we were dirt in their eyes.
The place has only been open a few weeks, and we were one of two dining pairs on this weekday. They had no reason to serve us with such attitude... but insisted on carrying through with it all night. When our total bill of $21.50 or so came, we waited for 5 minutes to receive change from our $30. Finally a girl asked us if we needed change and we said yes. 5 more minutes passed before the head waiter asked us the same question. They had obviously had the time to look at the money and were trying to shame us into a significant tip, of which they were not even deserving.
Now that I have that off my chest, I can say that I did enjoy the food. Decent Turkish in north Brooklyn is not easy to come by, and Deniz could really be an asset if they toned down on the faux-fancy snob routine. As stated before, we both fed ourselves from the lunch special menu. Our appetizers were delicious, the tunçilik (eggplant salad) was almost perfect with all the roasted eggplant, red peppers, and garlic. The hummus (above) was also very good, although I would have prefered a homemade pita to the soft doughy bread they served to accompany both appetizers.
My main course, the adana kebab (spiced lamb, below) was terrific, infused with plenty of pepper inside and grilled to tender delight. The corners were slightly charred, which I also enjoyed, while the center would still be medium rare if we were talking steaks or burgers. The accompanying salads and rice were nothing much to speak of, but the meat as a centerpiece was enough to satisfy.
I am really not sure if we just picked a bad time, or if budget eaters like us just are not welcome here, but it is a shame that a decent meal gets so sullied by poor treatment. I hope Deniz realizes that it exists in a very laid back neighborhood, and diners are not looking for posh.