Grilled octopus with eggplant puree and béchamel (Image: Howard Portnoy)

Most people, when they come back from a trip abroad, bring snapshots or souvenirs. Not Michael Karim Sopariwalla and Amin Himani. When the brothers returned from their travels through Turkey and Greece, they brought with them a restaurant — or at least the germ of one.

White Olive, as the pair’s maiden collaborative venture is called, is also their first restaurant in Manhattan. (The duo separately own some half dozen eateries on Staten Island.) The kitchen is helmed by Hasan Karci, whose cooking the men sampled at the Ritz-Carlton in Istanbul. The menu he has crafted for White Olive includes some of Greece’s and Turkey’s best-known culinary hits, though it takes the occasional detour into other zip codes, especially those of Italy. Suffice it to say that a diner with a mind to do so could put together a dinner of shrimp cocktail, pasta Bolognese, and New York-style cheesecake and walk away confident in the knowledge he had eaten in a Greek and Turkish restaurant.

Pacanga (Image: Howard Portnoy)

Pacanga, from Turkey, is as good a place as any to start. The dish is presented as a quartet of crisp pastry logs, each concealing a cache of pastrami, cheese, tomato, parsley, and pepper. You dip the crunchy morsels in something akin to a warm pizza sauce and eat. A half dozen meatballs (keftedes) arrive ankle-deep in a tart tomatoey sauce. You insert the tender orbs of meat into triangles of warm pita, spoon on a dollop of a tzatziki that is heavy on the garlic, and you’re in business.

Keftede (Image: Howard Portnoy)
Chilean sea bass (Image: Howard Portnoy)

Come dessert time, and everyone seems to order the “triangular baklava ice cream sandwich,” which on some nights is replaced by a trio of the honey-and-nut pastries with a side of vanilla ice cream: It’s tasty if not exactly what the menu description led you to expect.

‘Baklava ice cream sandwich’ (Image: Howard Portnoy)

Walls of polished sandstone, floors of white oak, and cream-colored cushioned leather chairs make for a handsome and inviting interior space. Woven Turkish runners adorn the white-linened tables. Service is polite and accommodating.

Price range: First courses—$12 to $28; main dishes—$30 to $65; desserts—$10 to $18.

White Olive, 39 West 55th Street, 917-300-3105, is open daily for lunch and dinner.