Tag Archive: mezzes


Whenever I come to Istanbul I stay at “Radisson Blu Hotel” in Ortakoy. All my friends know that it is my second house. I like it because the rooms are fine and Ortakoy, where it is located, is the center of lots of summer bars, restaurants and cafes. “House Café” which is literally few steps away from my hotel’s entrance is one of the nice hangouts. Imagine a restaurant by the sea, where there is always a nice wind, with great cocktails, and very tasty international cuisine. Their only problem is service; the stuff is lovely but not very capable. I guess they hire young students who don’t have any idea about restaurant business. Don’t worry after an afternoon serving me, either they quit or they become professionals ;) )))
So when I woke up on Sunday, I was dreaming of their eggs benedicts. Finally ended up taking a bottle of rose and share a pizza. Once again they proved my theory, food excellent, and the service poor. The crowd well this is Turkey, so while a tourist is sitting on one side, some locals enjoying their lunch on the other, you could easily see a woman with her head covered having tea with her husband, sitting next to the table of the girl who has a mini, or I might say micro shorts sipping her chilled rose.
So I guess it shows very well what Turkey is about; a combination between Europe and Asia ….

That night we decided to go to my favorite Kebab Restaurant called “Venge”. Normally the restaurant is in 4. Levent area, but this summer they decided to rent a spot at Sortie as well. Very good idea because with the heat wave in Istanbul right now, the bosphorus air is always a blessing.
I would have thought it would be empty, but I was wrong. The crowd was composed of some French tourist that I believe the hotel sent some locals, some locals with non Turkish guests and us…
The system is simple, when you sit to your table, they bring you warm pide bread with cheese, and a lahmacun (mini Turkish pizza w ground beef and spices), and then the mezze plate comes where you chose your Turkish tapas to accompany your meat.

Once the mezzes on your table, your Raki (Pastis) chilled with ice you can start thinking about your main dishes… Venge is famous for their Doner Kebap (Turkish döner kebap, literally “turning roast”), is dish made of meat cooked on a vertical spit and sliced off to order. Unfortunately they didn’t have any, so we decided to take lamb chops and minced meat, no need to say delicious.
And finish dinner with their famous deserts to share, Irmik helva (Semolina helva) with vanilla ice cream inside, and Peynirli Künefe which is a sweet shredded pastry with cheese…. Well no need to say that these deserts are very light… I am sure if we follow eight watchers, we will get minus points with them ;)

Although the weather was too warm and humid it was a great night, I mean how you can not enjoy it…. Great food, great view, great company and amazing music….

Every Wednesday and Saturday at specific places in Geneva you have the market. All the farmers around Geneva bring their fresh products, and it is full of fruits, vegetables, flowers and other products.
You can be sure to have big traffic, because the biggest one is in city center at Rive, where normally there is a big circulation.
The place is packed with who’s who…. from restaurant owners, to housewives, passing by families who do their Saturday outing. Everybody has a fancy bag, (it is Geneva after all) so they can put their purchases. Again you have to be dressed correctly, because you are sure to see someone you know, and in Geneva it is a crime to leave the house without a decent outfit and make up. You risk being outcasted…
The nice thing is that you have several coffees around, where after your shopping you can sit and enjoy the day.
Normally my mom and sister go together to the market on Saturdays, as she is stuck in New York because of the Volcano ashes, I went with my mom. Once our shopping done, we decided to go to a nice terrace for lunch.
We went to Le Cottage, it is on the other side of the bridge, but has such a nice terrace and food that it is worth it. At nights their menu is composed with Mediterranean tapas or mezzes or antipasti… While you eat the delicious food, you can taste different wines.
At lunch they have a smaller menu, no tapas to share, just few appetizers and few main courses, but a huge desert list with artisanal ice creams.
One of the biggest complaints about that restaurant is the service; it is known to be very slow… I found the stuff nice and not that slow.
After all, I had a great lunch under the sun with my mom, who even tried the ice cream with orange and saffron…
But next time, maybe I will go there for dinner instead of lunch, cause I prefer from far the menu; and if I want to enjoy their terrace during the day, would have coffee or tea…