Fun Dining & Views in Istanbul

During our recent trip to Istanbul, we took a break from the work of designing and creating new jewelry and accessories to enjoy some of Istanbul’s amazing views. The two most memorable were from Pandeli Restaurant at the Spice Bazaar and Pierre Loti Hotel & Roof Restaurant in the Old Town aka Sultanhamet. These experiences were even more special because we were together. Pandeli Restuarant is located within the Spice Bazaar of Istanbul. At Pandeli, as is the case with so many places in Istanbul/the world, you are paying for the ambiance and view. We would rather pony up for Pandeli’s turquoise tiles and 17th-century domed ceilings than fork over our precious lira for a less desirable location. But that’s just us. For small plates, Pandeli offers a variety of vegetables cooked either with olive oil or butter, and they are amazing. We love to start out with the eggplant salad, a creamy puree of smoky deliciousness served with yummy pita bread. Having said all that, the dönerli patlıcan börek (aka DPB which is eggplant borek), listed as a small plate, is a) a good solid-sized portion, and b) the best vegetarian item on the menu. Nevra’s favorite is the crispy texture and the meaty flavor of the lamb döner which is the perfect counterbalance to the creaminess of the eggplant börek. This year Nevra had the lamb shish kebab, which she also loves, because during Ramadan there is no döner. Pandeli is a lovely space (worth reserving a table in the rooms facing outside onto the square), the service is old-school and nonintrusive, and offers a quiet refuge from the crowds in the Spice Bazaar. Pandeli is a lunch spot, though they get the busiest around 1 p.m. To reach the restaurant, one must climb a somewhat daunting staircase. To ease the pain of leaving Istanbul on our last night, we had dinner at Pierre Loti Rooftop Restaurant with more fabulous views! In one direction you are facing the Blue Mosque, the other direction is the Hagia Sophia and another side is the Bosporus. The food is especially delicious too, with a variety of meze appetizers, fresh seafood, and traditional Turkish fare. We were so happy to be wearing our Beksan scarves, which warmed us from the cool breeze on the roof allowing us to enjoy the view during dinner. For more information about Pierre Loti restaurant, check them out at Hope you have a chance to go to Istanbul and experience delicious meals and spectacular views! Adapted from:

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