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Restaurants In Istanbul, Urgup, Ephesus and Alacati

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Apr 24th, 2014, 11:54 AM
  #1
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Restaurants In Istanbul, Urgup, Ephesus and Alacati

...Less than one week for the trip (one day in Madrid before Turkey)! I'm so excited about it.

Could you please recommend me restaurants to go in the following cities?
- Urgup (May 2-3). it could also be on the other towns, we are renting a car. Not looking for one with show, since we only have two heavy scheduled days.
- Ephesus (May 4)
- Alacati / Izmir (May 4-7)
- Istanbul (7-11). We will be in Kabatas, but we will go to different places like Sultahnamet, the stops at the Bosphorus cruise by ferry, and others (typical Istanbul itinerary)

We would like to have a fancy good dinner at a nice very good restaurant. For the other lunches / dinners, it is most important the quality of food than the ambient.
We would like to have mainly Turkish food, wouldn't bother to have fusion cuisine (Turkish ingredients and styles with other cultures' ingredients and culinary techniques)

We usually use the Michelin guide and look for Bib Gourmands (good food at reasonable price) and once or twice per trip we go to a Michelin-starred restaurant

It would also be nice to have a brunch recommendation for Alacati or Istanbul.

Thank you!!

B
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Apr 24th, 2014, 12:36 PM
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I mention restaurants that we liked in my trip report (Istanbul, Selçuk, Cappadocia); click on my name to find it.
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Apr 24th, 2014, 01:07 PM
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Ephesus/Selcuk : restaurant of hotel Bella

Istanbul : Asitane at Chora Church Museum (Royal Ottoman cuisine)

Borsa near Taksim, at Convention alley traditional Istanbul

Deniz Park-Aleko at Yenikoy (Bosphorus) (fish and meze)

Kosebasi at Tesvikiye (other locations also) Southeastern Turkish kebabs and such.

Casita at Bebek and other locations for Manti (Kayseri Ravioli type)

Divan Brasserie at Bebek

Kanaat at Uskudar (huge alternatives hot plate home cooking) My favorite iz Ozbek Pilav, rather greasy but the taste is one of a kind. Just take a small ferry behind the gas station at Kabatas, across to uskudar and walk behind the mosque you see in front and to your right. (Mihrimah mosque is the apprenticeship work of famous Armenian-Turkish architect Sinan.)

Best ambiance with Turkish bakery specials as well as eclectic specials will be at : ULUS 29. Expensive and worth it. Dress code.

Do not opt for Mikla, Topaz, Mimolet, Lebi Derya, 360, Nu Pera.

Hunkar and Tatbak at Nisantas are good for quick lunch at Nisantasi.

Bursa Garaj, at Levend, rather out of the way, across from Canyon mall has the best Iskender kebap in town.

Beyti, at Florya, not far from IST airport has the best lamb chops I have ever tasted and other meat specials. Almost all foreign heads of state have eaten here.

The only restaurant not far from your hotel is Sardunya, on the sea, towards your right, across the street, past the University buildings, under the Marine Chamber of Commerce. This is also a very good and not cheap restaurant. Usually fish and meze based but also has decent rib-eye. Try sea bass on a spoon.

Time is turbot (kalkan) time but very expensive. Sea bass, levrek, althogh farmed, is always good. We eat our fish mostly grilled, sometimes fried and never with sauces.
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Apr 24th, 2014, 01:13 PM
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There are some decent fish restaurants at Port alacati. We ate at the first one and were happy. In fact I think I even wrote a review on TA but cannot remember the name.

By the way, I got very angry with Trip Advisor last Fall, requesting that they remove all my 3000 posts and 5o or so reviews. Instead of removing them, they gave a strange letter and number code to them. So, if you read some restaurant reviews for Istanbul (like Divan Bebek and or something Baba at Port alacati) with some humor and my writing style, you can tell that they were written by OC.
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Apr 24th, 2014, 04:54 PM
  #5
kja
 
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In Goreme, I enjoyed Nostalja.

FWIW, the Asitane let me take a seat, but then no one agreed to wait on me. I have no idea why, unless it was because I'm a woman who was traveling solo. I waited about 20 minutes, and watched numerous servers turn their back to me once I caught their eyes.
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Apr 25th, 2014, 12:01 AM
  #6
 
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If you go to Goreme, go to Nazar Borek or Top Deck(Top deck needs reservations).
I have too many favorites in Istanbul, many of them local and non touristy, particularly Makarna SArayi at Cemberlitas and the restaurants outside Sulemaniye mosque, and one of the Cig Koftescis(I went to the one between Cemberlitas and Beyazit tram stops, Osman cig koftesci).
Ejder was my favorite in Selcuk(near Ephesus), amazing food and ambiance. I have the entire list on chowhound: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/973446
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Apr 25th, 2014, 12:05 AM
  #7
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I was extremely disappointed with Top Deck in Goreme. Maybe it was just an off night.
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Apr 25th, 2014, 07:13 PM
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OC - why did you get so angry with TA? inquring minds want to know
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Apr 25th, 2014, 11:38 PM
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Hi Suec1,

I was asked to become the first and possibly only "Turkey Destination Expert" 3 months after I joined in June, 2009. Apparently some Istanbul destination experts were not happy with my syle and the kind of objective information I gave especially on political, religious and national sensitivities. So, within one month I resigned from being a destination expert because of the personal hate messages and warnings from the moderators.

Unfortunately, the hate continued especially when I wrote about Gezi Park protests last Summer, and I found myself in the strange position of being banned but also requested to write reviews because of so many thousand followers. First I requested clarification to no avail and then I had to fight to get all my reviews removed as per TA guidelnes and promises but to no avail again.

They kept all my posts and reviews but just removed my name.
Thus, if you see any funny and interesting restaurant and hotel reviews written by a code name of letters and numbers, you should know that it is Otherchelebi.
I managed to copy all my reviews and will place them in my blog some time soon, and then give the lnk on Fodors and also post it on Twitter.
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Apr 26th, 2014, 05:31 AM
  #10
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Thank you all for your advice! I'm beginning to research each one and add them to my googlemap.

Otherchelebi, I'm just reading the Asitane web page, I'm already daydreaming about being there!
I'm totally against Tripadvisor's behaviour on denying your right to remove your reviews.
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Apr 26th, 2014, 06:25 AM
  #11
 
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Oh my, these last few days before landing in IST. seem to be crawling......thank you all for these apeteit stimulating, and descriptive, recommendations.
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Apr 27th, 2014, 12:52 AM
  #12
kja
 
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Otherchelebi: Maybe you can ask your wife, or one of your daughters, or a female friend, to go to Asitane alone and see if the staff will serve her, and then report back. As I've said, the host at Asitane seated me, but no one would serve me. When I asked the host before leaving, quite some time later, he said they can't force their staff to serve anyone. ?!? Even though he had seated me?!? I was there as a solo female. I was dressed conservatively (dark ankle-length skirt, long-sleeved blouse with a high neckline, no bling or anything else that should have drawn attention to me). I honestly cannot imagine that I did anything that was offensive, let alone offensive enough to warrant that treatment (or LACK of treatment, to be more precise). The restaurant was not overly busy when I was there -- there were some empty tables and LOTS of wait staff standing around. As I said, I watched numerous servers turn their back to me once I caught their eyes. Maybe there is some explanation -- but in lieu of an explanation, I find it difficult to understand, and I also find it a bit disconcerting to see that you and others recommend this restaurant so highly when my personal experience there was so completely unacceptable. It might be useful to know whether solo females will be served there now.
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Apr 27th, 2014, 01:43 AM
  #13
 
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kja,

My recommendation of the restaurant was purely based on the special menu items which are not available anywhere else with possibly the exception of a restaurant I have not visited near Suleymaniye mosque.

My experience in terms of service, although nothing like yours, was also bad. It was late, indifferent and definitely unfriendly.

Would I wish to face this again? Only if I want to taste a quince and lamb casserole for lunch before and after a visit to Chora museum.

I would definitely not go there for dinner and never consider reserving.

I am sorry for not mentioning these but could not give details on short posts and people do not like to read longer ones.

My analysis is that, this restaurant is run by Islamic fundamentalist owners who also knows nothing about managing a restaurant hiring waiters with similar views and does not even train them in customer satisfaction.

The general location of the restaurant is a fundamentalist bastion of istanbul, in any case.

Some of the best examples of good service in istanbul are at Borsa and Beyti; although Ulus 29, Changa, Aleko, Sardunya, Kanaat, Suna (at kandilli) Divan restaurant (at the hotel), Divan Bebek (most times,) Sunset, Mia Mensa, Assk Kafe (both at Kurucesme and recommended) come close.

Sorry, for not wishing to get DW or DD treated badly, as I am sure they would be since they do not wear long skirts or cover their head or arms or shoulders if the weather doesn't warrant it.
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Apr 27th, 2014, 10:32 AM
  #14
kja
 
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Thanks for your response, otherchelebi. And to be clear -- I certainly did not mean to ask that your wife or daughter endure mistreatment! I honestly didn't know whether my experience at Asitane was common or unique. Your answer helps me understand.
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Apr 28th, 2014, 02:50 PM
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Excerpt from our TR about our favorite meal. Other restaurants are described in our TR.
...our dinner at Lokanta Maya. Lokanta Maya (Kemankeş Caddesi #35) was in a small waterfront neighborhood close to the Galata Bridge; our cabdriver was unfamiliar with the street and we had to show him our destination on YT’s iPhone. ...The meal we had that Saturday night was the culinary highlight of our trip, a testimony to what can be done with what may be the world’s freshest ingredients. We started with crispy fresh anchovies and zucchini fritters. Both were sublime. We followed with caramelized sea bass (!) and a lamb leg with polenta. Both were superb, simply superb. We accompanied dinner with a bottle of nice local merlot (I didn’t note the name in my prandial stupor). We finished with a shared dessert of mattique pudding, ice cream and sour cherry sauce.
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Apr 29th, 2014, 05:21 AM
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Added some of these recommended restaurants to our list....And, I will definitely Not go to Asitane, special menu notwithstanding. I find that treatment unprofessional and offensive.
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Apr 29th, 2014, 05:52 PM
  #17
kja
 
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Re: the Asitane -- I certainly was not pleased with the treatment I received, but I didn't know how to interpret it. I was both saddened and relieved to hear otherchelebi's confirmation that my experience was not unusual. So, MarnieWDC, I appreciate your expression of support. The good news is that you can definitely dine extremely well in Turkey, even without the Asitane!
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Apr 30th, 2014, 10:58 AM
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OC - I had not noticed your response until today - thank you for answering and a big thanks for all your info. I'll have to look for your "coded" posts over on TA - I can't imagine any remaining destination "expert" has more to offer than you.
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Apr 30th, 2014, 11:14 AM
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suec, I just checked and found out that finally they removed all my reviews. My posts stay with that code.

I am going to post all my restaurant reviews on my blog very soon, and add the photographs later at :

http://otherchelebistravels.blogspot.com.tr/
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Jun 20th, 2014, 02:51 PM
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OC, I look forward to having your restaurant reviews in one easily accessible place. Thanks.
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