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Restaurant Recomendation for a Special Evening

Palo Alto...
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Restaurant Recomendation for a Special Evening

Greetings,

My wife and I spent a wonderful short vacation in Istanbul in 1992, and have long wanted to return with our children. Next month we will be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary, and as luck would have it, both our kids will be on spring break that very week, so we have decided to celebrate by returning to Istanbul with the family. I have really enjoyed researching this trip the last few weeks, including many visits to this Forum.

I will have a few different questions, but will keep them each in separate posts for ease of reply. My first request is for a restaurant recommendation for the actual night of our anniversary. This is what I am looking for:

1) A really memorable restaurant either with great views or a distinctively Istanbul experience such as taking a boat to the dock of the restaurant.

2) Both my wife and daughter have asthma/respiratory issues, so we definitely don't want to be in a smoke-filled room. We would love a non-smoking restaurant (I know, fat chance before the new law actually kicks in) or at least a real non-smoking section. We will probably make very early reservations by Istanbul standards (6 or 6:30), so this may not end up being a big problem, but I would rather not take a chance.

3) Cuisine could be either modern Turkish or Ottoman - seafood and good veggies are our favorites, but would be open to first-rate meat dishes as well.

4) The children are 14 and 11, are very well-behaved in restaurants, and like all kinds of food, so no special considerations need be made for them.

5) We would like to go to a restaurant that locals would go to for a special celebration, rather than just a tourist restaurant.

I did take a look at the restaurant thread, but it seemed a bit dated, and didn't really address the smoking issue. Thanks, I look forward to the recommendations!

PM

Concord, California
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1. Re: Restaurant Recomendation for a Special Evening

how much do you plan on spending? there are many fish restaurants along the water,and I am sure others can suggest places. I stick to places where meat and veggies are served as well. ther is a rally good fish place in the Villa Zurich Hotel in Cihangir,at the top.great views,rather pricey. Istiklal caddesi has many places called "meyhanes" specializing in grilled meats. if you see lots of locals in a place,you can bet it is probably good.I know other TA people will be sending more ideas tomorrow

Palo Alto...
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2. Re: Restaurant Recomendation for a Special Evening

Thanks CP. Well, we don't drink alcohol, so taking that into account, I guess I would be willing to spend up to US $50-$60 per person. That's about how much we would end up spending at a really nice dinner in San Francisco, so I hope Istanbul isn't more pricey!

Surrey, UK
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3. Re: Restaurant Recomendation for a Special Evening

There are some great fish restaurants on the Bosphorus with amazing views. Many of them are a bit out of the tourist centre, so perhaps if this was something you wanted to do, your hotel could arrange a taxi at a fixed price so you know how much you would be spending.

I visited Le Pechuer at Tarabya last summer and loved it. It is certainly special, it is right on the water (make sure you book a table by the window) and there was not a hint of any tourists (it is too far outside of the tourist area). I imagine without alcohol you would be within budget.

It doesn't have a non-smoking section (very few Istanbul restaurants do) but it is so large, high and airy that I can't imagine it being an issue (not that early in the night - few locals will eat dinner till after 8pm so I don't imagine you will have too much of a problem).

There are many other wonderful fish restaurants on the Bosphorus in places like Bebek etc (Kozano can tell you about her favourites).

If you don't want to go that far out of the centre, there are some wonderful restaurants in Beyoglu with excellent views. 360 and Lib-i-Derya always seem to impress (although I haven't eaten in either).

There is also Kiz Kulesi - which is a tower on an island which you get to by boat. It is a bit touristy however - although a lot of locals visit there too.

London, United...
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4. Re: Restaurant Recomendation for a Special Evening

Next month the outdoor terraces will still be closed so you will be indoors and unfortunately Turkish people smoke A LOT!!!! during dinner. When I went last month I was very uncomfortable after the smoking ban in UK you get used to smoke free environments. An airy restaurants with tables set apart and good ventilation would be better for you, if you sit by the window you can ask the window to be opened for short periods to get air. Traditional Meyhanes and kebap restaurants are worst offenders. I also find it fascinating that people continue smoking even while they are eating rather than between courses.

Sorry rant out of the way, here are some of my recommendations :-)

Unless you are in the Sultanahmet area Istanbul restaurants are not touristic.

Seafood restaurants tend to be by the bosphorous, by the water with views.

I usually go to Mavi Balik (great views, with English speking helpful professional waiters and good fish) http://www.mavibalik.com/ this restaurant have views on 3 sides so you'll be guaranteed good views.

Leb-i Derya has excellent views but dining area is limited, but since you'll be going early it would be OK. Good food, not spectacular but the views are so incredible it makes up for it : www.lebiderya.com/richmond/eng/2_2_index.html

and a couple of photos I took there last month : www.flickr.com/photos/kozano/3203007481/

flickr.com/photos/…

If you want to experience going to a restaurant by boat I would suggest the modern seafood restaurant Lacivert on the Asian side, accessed easily by their boat service from the european side. This restaurant is right nder the Bosphorous bridge that your children would find very interesting. Great views. http://www.lacivertrestaurant.com/eng/

I also like Feriye restaurant as they have an Ottoman inspired menu, using seafood and meat, just by the water, however this restaurant is more impressive in summer : http://www.feriye.com/english/index.asp

2 Istanbul favourites for a lot of people for a special night out are Sunset and Ulus 29, next to eash other on a hilltop location http://www.group-29.com/ (click on english, and go to our venues and select Ulus 29)

http://www.sunsetgrillbar.com/

Ulus 29 have a more Turkish/exotic feel. Both are very professional special restuarants with regular choices of Turkish classics as well as cuisine around the world.

All these restaurants will be empty at the times you'll go so you'll be OK for a table with views or smoking.

Istanbul is full of lovely restaurants, I'm sure others will recommend more. I've eaten at all of the above restaurants countless times and they remain my firm favourites.

Kozano

Edinburgh, United...
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5. Re: Restaurant Recomendation for a Special Evening

Kozano

I believe there are 2 Leb-i derya restaurants now, are they very similar or does one have more advantages over the other ?

Iain

Istanbul
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6. Re: Restaurant Recomendation for a Special Evening

Hi PaxMundi,

We just had our first Istanbul forum members meeting at Hamdi restaurant right next to the Spice Bazaar at Eminonu. We were all very happy with the food and the ambiance. Their terrace is very airy with a very tall ceiling all covered with glass which gives you an incredible spacious feeling. Mehmet Bey, the manager will be more than happy to accept your reservations by the window. The restaurant has a magnificent view of Galata Bridge, the port of Istanbul, Galata Tower and Golden Horn. Here is a link: "http://www.hamdirestorant.com.tr/hamdien.htm".

good luck,

enigma...

Chicago
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7. Re: Restaurant Recomendation for a Special Evening

Asitane Restaurant

The restaurant serves such delicious Turkish food (Ottoman cuisine). The views overlook trees outside and there are lots windows to add natural light. The tables have linen tablecloths and napkins and the staff are professional.

This would be a really nice place to celebrate a 20th wedding anniversary. Congratulations to you both!

www.asitanerestaurant.com/English/index.php

London, United...
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8. Re: Restaurant Recomendation for a Special Evening

Iain, the Leb-i Derya in Richmond hotel is the one I gave the link to and photos are from. It is the newer one. The original one is in a side street very close by but very steep street, very difficult to find in the rooftop of an old residential building with a very dodgy lift. It is smaller and with the same magnificent view, though the tall building next door partially blocks the view from some tables. I still go there for all times sake but I would recommend the new one.

Kozano

Palo Alto...
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9. Re: Restaurant Recomendation for a Special Evening

Wow, thank you all! These sound like some great suggestions for me to look at further.

Hamburg
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10. Re: Restaurant Recomendation for a Special Evening

If you really want a very special restaurant try "TOPAZ" which is very close to Taxim Sq.

I have been there a few times and think it has one of the most breathtaking views to the Bosphorus and Istabul.It's a very elegant place and a bit pricey.

They serve mediterranean and modern otoman cuisine of a very high quality. Service is excellent as well.

This a really a place to celebrate your 20th wedding anniversary.

For me this is one of the most upmarket restaurants in Istanbul.

Unfortunately I don't remember very well about a non smoking section.

For more information visit: www.topazistanbul.com