Eating international fare locally eliminates the woes associated with transatlantic travel, such as jet lag and oar splinters. Stamp Mediterranean flavors onto your palate’s passport with today’s Groupon to Vanilla Bean Bistro. Choose from the following options:
- For $26, you get dinner for two (up to a $60 total value), served 5 p.m.–8:30 p.m. The dinner includes:
- Two appetizers, soups, or salads (up to a $10 value each)
Two entrees (up to a $20 value each)<p>
- For $49, you get dinner for four (up to a $120 total value), served 5 p.m.–8:30 p.m. The dinner includes:
- Four appetizers, soups, or salads (up to a $10 value each)
Four entrees (up to a $20 value each)<p>
- For $10, you get $20 worth of anything on the menu for lunch, served 11:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Lunch sandwiches and entrees range from $9 to $15. This option can also be used for brunch, served Sundays 8 a.m.–2 p.m.<p>
Chef Gonul Blum grew up in Turkey around her family’s spice business, cultivating a love for fresh ingredients and Mediterranean flavors that converge in recipes imported from France, Italy, and her native Turkey. Diners can study the seasonally diverse menu before embarking on culinary voyages with wine-grape and yellow-corn crêpes filled with goat cheese and seasonal fruit relish and a chilled melon soup infused with jalapeño and mint. Meat and poultry culled from sustainable farms star in entrees, including the Niman Ranch moroccan lamb stew, in which Chef Gonul combines seasonal vegetables, shallots, and a fruity trio of dates, raisins, and apricots atop well-spiced couscous in an inflatable kiddie pool filled with red wine. Red chilies and vanilla honey glaze wild salmon, and stuffed poblano chilies cool off with cilantro cream. Lunch options at the casual bistro expand to sandwiches and wraps, including open-face lamb burgers served with seasonal fruit salsa, Gonul’s signature rice, pesto pita bread, and a yogurt sauce flavored with cumin and cucumber.
Vanilla Bean Bistro
Gonul Blum grew up in Turkey amid her family’s spice business and surrounded by delicious, fresh meals. When an injury cut her career as a cardiac-surgery nurse short, she took it as a sign to go back into the family business. After attending the Culinary Institute of America to hone her skills, she started a catering company and eventually opened her own restaurant. Though her establishment evolved and changed locations over the years, it eventually grew to become Vanilla Bean Bistro, where freshness still rules in her family’s tradition, and almost everything is made by hand.
At her current space, Gonul curates a menu that combines childhood Turkish favorites—such as moroccan lamb stew and moussaka—with local ingredients and recipes, such as butternut-squash ravioli and stuffed poblano chilis. She also chose the restaurant’s current venue for its open kitchen and bar; facets which allow her to hold cooking classes and food fights during off-hours.