From Our Editors
Demirel Duzgoren has used his skills in chopping, spicing, sautéing, and grilling on three continents over the past 20 years. But no matter where he goes, he creates the Turkish and Mediterranean dishes of his homeland. Now at Istanbul Restaurant, Duzgoren and his staff cook up their favorite dishes found on the Bosphorus, from savory doner beef kebabs wrapped in warm pitas to fresh seafood. Plus, they use only halal meats.
Duzgoren also whips up Istanbul's most famous and traditional drinks. He pours thick, strong cups of Turkish coffee and herbal teas, and ends evenings with glasses of raki that, when mixed with water, turn a milky white and give off the scent of licorice.
On Saturday evenings, belly dancers serpentine around the white-clothed tables and fire-engine-red chairs, making diners feel as if they were in Turkey and teaching them the best dance moves to get out of a speeding ticket. Overhead, paintings of Istanbul hang on the walls along with charms to ward off the evil eye.