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boudin noir

Istanbul eats

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I just returned from two days in Istanbul. Some observations. The most beautiful and delicious "baklava' type sweets I've ever seen. Two restaurants in the Sultenhamet district of the city. In the Ottomen Hotel Imperial restaurant I had squid stuffed with rice, pine nuts and spices. Subtle and very good. Followed by a lamb shank in a bed of eggplant in a phyllo bowl. I think a variation of Hunkar Begendi. Delicious! Next had a meal at Balikoi Sabahattin a fish restaurant. Very nice meze selection followed by perfectly grilled fish. Good selection of fish to choose from. Interesting cuisine.

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We ate the most sublime Baklava at Karakoy Gulluoglu a couple of years ago, we have never eaten baklava since. It was that good!

But yes tell us more, Istanbul is such a wonderful eating town. Superb meat dishes, bewildering variety of kebaps and simple fresh seafood. Makes me want to go back just thinking about it, not to mention I get to eat baklava again.


Edited by Prawncrackers (log)

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This was the first visit to Istanbul for my wife and myself. We were staying in the old city: Sultanhamet. Since we had only 2 days we never made it out of that district. There is more than enough in that area to keep you busy for several days. We are walkers constitutionally and since It's the best way to see a new place we walked pretty much the whole area.

We stayed at the Ottoman hotel located on a small Street on the left side of the Hagia Sophia. Nice unpretentious hotel. Being tired when we arrived we thought it would be easiest to eat at the hotel restaurant which had a menu based on 16th century Ottoman recipes. The food was very good. The turkish wine was reasonable both in price and taste. We had lunches at several places mentioned in Istanbul Eats. The food in these places was simple and fine but not something I would go out of my to eat. The fish restaurant was recommended by a guide. It is not in Istanbul Eats. It was an unpretentious looking place. We had booked a table. It was packed with long lines waiting to be seated. Service was abrupt. Meze selection was large and very good.There was a large selection of fish to choose from. Grilling was the cooking method of choice, done perfectly .

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Balıkçı Sabahattin is one of the best restaurants I've ever been to. It's an Ottoman era wooden house, but I went in summer and the main draw is the huge, attractive garden. Superb fish, they bring everything out to your table to inspect and you choose what looks good.

The house

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The garden

n37003198_31197193_4576.jpg

And their amusing logo

n37003198_31197210_9790.jpg


Edited by Hassouni (log)

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Hi everyone.

I'm in Istanbul through Monday, and was wondering if anyone knows of a place to get a top-tier cocktail in this town?

Like a classic Manhattan, Negroni, etc.

Or better yet, someplace that is doing interesting mixology with raki, the local spirit?

Most of the hotel bars I checked out were serving the same indifferently mixed swill, and the party neighborhoods are all still selling Jaeger shots.

I did contact Istanbul Eats; he was unable to help on this matter, although I was directed towards some great restaurants! [thanks!]

cheers


-James

My new book is, "Destination: Cocktails", from Santa Monica Press! http://www.destinationcocktails.com

Please see http://www.tydirium.net for information on all of my books, including "Tiki Road Trip", and "Big Stone Head", plus my global travelogues, and more!

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Borsa.

best lamb chops anywhere in the world. anywhere.

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Just to mention Nar Lokanta, in Sultanahmet, a moderately upscale restaurant run by a Turkish American with great culinary values. I didn't try their meat mains but had the best vegetable (and a couple of seafood) mezes in a week in Istanbul. Quite classy food, but rooted in tradition. Fantastic value for money.

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