ThursdayFiled under Reviews (Eats)
The departure of Aret, our favorite garson in the city, had us reconsidering our love of this little cubbyhole meyhane where we’ve spent so many nights over the years.
With our loyalty to Aret and his to us, would it not be cheating to return to Çukur when Aret now runs his own place just a few blocks away? More importantly, could we expect the same standards from Çukur without Aret around? In the meyhane world, waiters, like janissaries, wield unusual power over the operation and their departure can signal bad times ahead.
After much deliberation we recently descended into the subterranean world of Çukur Meyhane and found it as good as ever. We’ll pass on the hamsi until they are back in season, but the balık kokoreç and puffy fried nuggets of whitefish were good enough to convince us that there’s room enough for Çukur and Aret’s new place in our dining life.
Read the rest of this previously featured review at Culinary Backstreets.
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no responses - Posted 11.29.13
These days, writing about Istanbul’s old-school restaurants can be heartbreaking work. No sooner do we find out about a classic lunch spot than it turns out the place is about to be closed down to make way for yet another development project. Meanwhile, Istanbul’s relentless drive to modernize and “clean ...continue
2 responses - Posted 11.18.13
Around the time that hamsi, our favorite little fish, appear in the markets of Istanbul in late fall we become restless for the Black Sea-style cooking we’ve been missing since the previous season. Hamsi (fresh anchovies) are not the only thing to eat in a Black Sea restaurant, but eating ...continue
no responses - Posted 08.20.13
More so than any other district in Istanbul, Perşembe Pazarı – the city’s hardware zone – brings together what we love most about this city: thriving street life, hard-to-grasp commercial enterprises, remnants of history and, of course, excellent hidden spots to eat. A chickpea and pilaf cart is pushed past ...continue
1 response - Posted 07.22.13
On a night out in Istanbul, we often find ourselves forced to make sacrifices in one or more categories of the overall dining experience. Great food at reasonable prices will surely be laid out in a room decorated in Anatolian kitsch. Bosphorus views and contemporary furnishings are a license to ...continue
2 responses - Posted 07.15.13
One of the great joys of spring and summertime in Istanbul is the chance to get away for a day to one of the Princes’ Islands, the car-free and forested archipelago that is a short ferry ride away from the city. The only downside to an island hop is actually ...continue
1 response - Posted 04.15.13
In an opinion piece published recently in the Latitude blog of The New York Times, veteran Turkey correspondent Andrew Finkel’s brutally honest appraisal of the state of “New Turkish Cuisine” called much of Istanbul’s restaurant establishment – down to the customers – into question. We’ve had similar misgivings after meals ...continue
no responses - Posted 04.09.13
Editor’s note: This post was written by “Meliz,” an intrepid explorer of Istanbul’s culinary backstreets and frequent Istanbul Eats guest contributor who would like to keep her anonymity. While the Princes’ Islands make for a great escape from the city, it used to be hard to think of them as a ...continue
no responses - Posted 03.18.13
It wasn’t quite as dramatic as Meg Ryan’s big moment at Katz’s Deli in When Harry Met Sally, but a low-register, guttural moan of pleasure was detected from our table when we tasted the shredded celery root in yogurt, a house specialty meze at Çukur Meyhane. And we weren’t faking ...continue
1 response - Posted 01.14.13
We are unabashedly fanatical in our love of hamsi, or anchovies, a late fall/wintertime specialty whose arrival we eagerly await each year in Istanbul, where the tiny fish are most commonly served pan-fried, grilled or in pilaf. But as any hamsi aficionado knows, for the best anchovy-eating in Turkey one ...continue
no responses - Posted 01.07.13
Dear Istanbul Eats, I’ll have an eight-hour layover in Istanbul and was wondering if you have any suggestions for places to go for a good Turkish breakfast and lunch. I love to eat at small, local places serving authentic food. I would prefer restaurants in the Yeşilköy area, as I have ...continue