Fantastic food, for everyone in our party! I'll start with the review, read on for how we decided on this restaurant and how we got there. We were escorted to a table by the window with a fantastic view of the Bosphorus and old town (Sultanahmet). We could see the Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Süleymaniye Mosque. I did not have a huge appetite, so I decided to order two vegetarian starters. I am considering becoming a vegetarian again after this meal (if only I could find this cuisine readily in Atlanta). My husband and mother-in-law had beef and chicken, respectively. They each loved their meals. I'm not a beef eater, so I didn't taste my husband's meal, but the chicken dish was delightful. That said, mine was better. I had the Fava Bean Puree with Citrus Onion Chutney (similar to hummus, but the flavor was quite different) and the Sun-Dried Eggplant Stuffed With Sour Cherries & Spiced Rice (similar to stuffed grape leaves, but with much more flavor. The Turks know their spices and how to use them.
The hostess and our waiter spoke English, which was great because there is no way any of us could attempt to pronounce most words in Turkish. The vibe was very lively, but with mellow music like you'd expect in a W hotel in the US. We all agreed that it was a great restaurant experience and the perfect introduction to Istanbul.
Background...We arrived in Istanbul this afternoon, after ten days in Italy. This is our first visit to Turkey. We are staying at the Hilton Bosphorus and asked the concierge for a restaurant recommendation in the Taksim area, featuring Turkish food. He sent us to Leb-i Derya with a reservation. We took a taxi from the hotel, which was about $5 US. We would not have found it on our own as it's on the top floor of what appeared to be a residential building on a small side street off of Istiklal Avenue. After the first flight of stairs, you can get in an elevator to the level just below the restaurant. I recommend this, as it's about 6 flights up, on steep, winding stairs. It was almost full at 8:30, so the reservation was necessary and much appreciated.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.