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Posts Tagged ‘ out of town ’

Jul 10
Tuesday

Istanbul Eats on the Road: NYC’s Bi Lokma

Filed under Out of Istanbul, Reviews (Eats)


Whenever we find ourselves far from Turkey’s shores for any extended period of time, nostalgic hunger pangs soon set in. Sure, we quickly develop a hankering for a juicy Adana kebab or even for the simple taste of a simit washed down with some strong tea. But what we really long for is the kind of honest, down-home food found in some of our favorite Istanbul esnaf restaurants (workers’ canteens), humble places where we’ve always found the level of cooking to be top-notch, the service impeccable and the price just right. Unlike, kebab and döner, though, which have succeeded in planting the flag of Turkish food around the world, the concept of the esnaf lokantası has, sadly, yet to really be exported out of Turkey.

We were more than delighted, then, to have been told during a recent trip to New York about the existence of Bi Lokma, a restaurant in Midtown that was trying to bring the esnaf experience to the Big Apple. Our previous experience with Manhattan’s Turkish food scene was that it went either high – white-tablecloth kind of places that served upscale versions of classic Ottoman dishes – or low – döner spots that might serve some lentil soup on the side. But there were hardly any places that hit that sweet middle spot the way a good esnaf lokantası does. Could Bi Lokma the place that fills that void? We decided to go find out. Continue…

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