Food & dining

Short Order

Marketplace restaurant offers European and Turkish fare

At Cafe de Boston, customers at the serve-yourself meze bar, which includes falafel, grape leaves, baba ghanoush, and more.
Kayana Szymczak for the Boston Globe
At Cafe de Boston, customers at the serve-yourself meze bar, which includes falafel, grape leaves, baba ghanoush, and more.
Kayana Szymczak for the Boston Globe
Mixed grille plate.

Cafe de Boston in the Financial District was inspired by European cafeteria-style marketplace restaurants. Owner Levant Berksan designed the eatery with a series of stations, a cook at each. The sprawling spot in a Federal Street office building buzzes at lunch as outsized salads ($8.50), sandwiches ($5 to $6.43), pizzas ($2.94 a slice), and pastas ($7.94) are assembled. At one station, a cook spins crepe batter on a griddle like those used by Paris street vendors ($5.75 to $6.95). Berksan, raised in Turkey, also offers some family dishes, such as marinated lamb and beef kebab sandwiches ($6.90 to $8.43), and the traditional doner kebabs in pita ($7.38), the meat carved off a vertical rotisserie. A self-serve meze bar ($7.95 a pound) holds crispy falafel, grape leaves, baba ghanoush, and the red pepper dip muhammara. Sip Turkish coffee with honey-soaked baklava or other pastries. Berksan says if a customer wants something particular, his cooks will make it. “There’s nothing we say no to.” Cafe de Boston, 75 Federal St., Boston, 617-482-1006, www.cafedeboston.com.
ANN TRIEGER KURLAND