Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Kitchenette Isanbul

The House Cafe Nisantasi - Istanbul

The House Cafe in Nisantasi, aka the Beverly Hills of Istanbul, is home to the hip and fashion-aware!

It was an unusually warm and damp November day in Istanbul, raining off and on. Despite the foreboding skies, we went for the outdoor patio anyway to be around all the chic and cool-looking Turkish diners with their cigarettes. It isn't really a genuine European experience without at least a fog of whitish secondhand smoke fading in the background.

Strawberry Smoothie.  Heads up: this drink is served room temperature which caught me off guard (I was expecting ICE COLD). Sour from the Greek yogurt and crunchy from the seedy berries or nutty supplements, it reeked of nutritious goodness. After forcing the initial few warmish sips, I loved it :) 
Green Smoothie.  This was super cleansing, of course. See how very green it is?
Olive Bread and Olive Oil with Olive Paste.  Complimentary, dense, moist, crusty and fabulous. Can't believe how good bread is outside the U.S. Chunks of intensely rich olives made it just to die for, OMG.
Coffee.  Dark, rich and creamy. Heavenly cup of coffee. (Not Turkish coffee.) Served with a ridiculously good chocolate biscotti-like cookie.
Pounded Chicken and Potatoes. Flavors were clean and deliberate. Subtle yet so intense, laced with bits of fresh herbs delicately seasoned over a bed of beautiful al dente potatoes. High-class chicken, if there was such a thing.
Side Salad.  Simply prepared, fresh and yummy.
Fries. Potato fries with an awesome peppery blend with chili, paprika and spice. Yum.
Burger.  Super burger stacked super tall and served well-done. It came with pickles cut lengthwise and a dash of that good red peppery stuff. Beautiful burger but I'm not used to ground beef cooked so done.
After the burger arrived, it actually started to rain and we relocated to one of the very homey rooms inside the House Cafe. I fell in love with the eclectic and artistic arrangement of the gorgeous light fixtures, sconces and furniture. The incandescent lights set a mellow tone of super chic comfort.
Roasted Beet Salad.  Beat salad tossed with quinoa, pomegranates and goat cheese was colorful, delicious and beautiful.
I have a thing for public bathrooms, BTW.
And I love fancy modern wall sinks.
XOXO Can't wait to come back and try everything else on the menu.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Copper Onion...summer time, patio dining

Outdoor patio is open and the summer menu is FABULOUS!
Can't remember what was ordered, but the selection by the glass was impressively awesome.
Check out our mister oil face :)
Sauteed Mushrooms, $9.  This is a mandatory must-order! Local sunny chicken egg smothered in garlicky parsley sits on top of a pile of crisp potato strings and seasoned wild mushrooms. Unbelievable.
Halibut.  The veggies were unusual with a nice ethnic twist. The fish was nicely flavored but, unfortunately, overdone.
Pasta Carbonara, $15.  Al dente house-made noodles are drowned in rich, cheesy, peppery goodness and tossed in salty bacon and an egg yolk. Heavy, fattening and FABULOUS.
The side dishes were $4 each or three for $11. 

Broccoli Raab.  This was simply prepared but too bitter for my taste.
Steak Fries.  Glorious crispy hefty potato chunks coated in parmesan and herbs. BEST FRIES EVER.
Idaho Lentils.  The lentils were tossed in pickled veggies and feta. Too subtle, my least favorite.
Grilled Snap Peas.  I love these! Love em!
Chicken Soup, $7.  Tomato broth, Idaho white beans, jalapeno, pulled chicken. Combo was too weird for me.
Lamb Riblets, $19.  This was my first taste of lamb ribs and they were phenomenal. Despite by aversion to creamy-looking stuff, this creamy potato-cauliflower salad was amazing!

The Copper Onion on Urbanspoon
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