Istanbul is a town full of flavor. There are many culinary options, ranging from trendy, modern restaurants to eateries that serve traditional fare. Istanbul menus change with the seasons, and summer is no exception. Here are some of the best choices on menus across the city this summer.
Located in the trendy district of Etiler, Scarlet Steakhouse on Nispetiye Avenue is owned and operated by famous chef Süleyman Dilek. As a gourmet chef who is absolutely in love with meat, Dilek has many years' experience in the sector. The restaurant's name – scarlet, which is the darkest tone of red, the color of passion – symbolizes flavor, heat and, of course, steak. The surrounding premises are also donned in beautiful shades of red. I especially loved the red lights that lit up the building's columns from the inside. The Scarlet Steakhouse boasts a large indoor area and a truly stunning garden, as well. The first thing that I found the most striking at the restaurant was the sprawling bar, which stretches 15 meters in length and is ready to host a large number of guests. I recommend two cocktails here, called So Rich and So Chic. Barista Tayfun Kalan created true masterpieces by mixing these lovely cocktails. The place also has a very special cellar featuring 400 bottles of liquor.
When it comes to dishes, the Scarlet Steakhouse is precisely a haven for meat lovers. Meticulously chosen meats are prepared, marinated and cooked by Dilek's expert hands. Foremost, I suggest that you try the Churrascaria meat, which is truly delicious. Also known as Brazilian doner kebab, this meat is slow-cooked for 12 hours over burning oak, giving it a delicious, smoky flavor. It is cut into thin slices and served as a feast for your taste buds. I also suggest that you try the beef marrow which is one of the best delicacies on the menu. The marrow of the bone that comes to your table is removed meticulously and served on mini pieces of bread garnished in coriander, parsley and onions. The marrow is served just like caviar. By the way, let me remind you that marrow is high in protein and known for its nutritional properties. The menu also offers many varieties of hamburgers, pastas and creative salad dishes. If you have a sweet tooth, the desserts are delicious and I recommend the date dessert as a wonderful, light and yummy option.
Your dining experience also includes other options as well. You can choose to sit either in the garden area, indoors or you can also host guests in one of the VIP rooms. Everything in this establishment has been elaborately thought out. Here, you will feel like you're in a steakhouse in Toscana with the Italian music playing in the background. Scarlet, fitting to its name, is also participating in a social responsibility project. The Red World pieces of artist Barış Sarıbaş are on exhibit at the steakhouse. They are being sold as charity for the benefit of the Art Association. I congratulate the owner of the place, Süleyman Dilek, for this elaborate and high quality venue.
Atelier Real Food Restaurant
Another restaurant I would like to suggest in Istanbul this summer is the Atelier Real Food restaurant in The Ritz Carlton Istanbul Hotel. The venue asserts itself well, located in a trendy spot overlooking the Bosporus. It's also pretty delightful with contemporary and stylish decor. All the furniture is designed specifically for the restaurant. Architect Patricia Pina obviously did a spectacular job. The unique concepts of executive chef Selami Güleryüz's menu are an excellent combination of real gourmet food and unique tastes.
Atelier Real Food's meals are based on the concept of all-natural goodness. With the slogan "Farm to Table," it offers unique flavors to guests with an open kitchen design. In addition to dinner, it is also an enjoyable option for private events. The wooden chef table is a great spot where you can make unforgettable memories. When we look at the flavors in the place, we come across many chart-topping dishes. The homemade breads served on Sile rock, exclusive to the Konya region, accompany the meals. "Toy Konagi," an organic olive oil produced especially for Atelier Real Food, brings the olive gardens in Canakkale's Geyikli district to your table. Maldon sea salt, on the other hand, comes in front of you with 100 percent natural features created with traditional methods. Among the meals, on the other hand, the seabass carpaccio, Balikesir-style lamb taşlık and the pide with lamb catches the eye. Among the desserts, I highly recommend the ricotta bread.
My last suggestion is the traditional flavor of one of Bursa's most prominent brands, the İskender Restaurant, which dates back to 1867. With 150 years of flavor which started with one of the family patriarchs, İskender Efendi's venture, first greeted Istanbulites in the district of Nişantaşı. Known as the "historic, small blue place" in Bursa, the absolute must stop place for people who visit Bursa, İskender, comes from the city it was born in.
Neslihan, İlgihan and İskender İskenderoğlu, the children of Cevat İskenderoğlu, one of the three sons of İskender Efendi, namely, third-generation İskenderoğu family members, are continuing this valuable legacy successfully. First, the most ideal and high quality meats are chosen. Every slice of pita, the butter, sauce, yogurt, tomatoes and green peppers, are the ingredients that complete the döner kebab, gathered and prepared meticulously. As one other component that completes the tradition of İskender's döner kebab, şıra, is one of the most special flavors of Turkish cuisine that comes from the Ottomans, meticulously prepared with raisins. The architect of the place is Mahmut Anlar, who brings together the inspiration he took from the history of the İskender family with modern trends, bringing forth a truly unique masterpiece. I suggest that you try these traditional flavors in Nişantaşı as soon as you can.