Babbling brooks, fresh trout, quacking ducks, Turkish village breakfasts served all day long, and lots of shade is what you will find at Pinarbasi restaurant about 2 kilometers off of the main Milas-Marmaris highway on the outskirts of Yatagan. This is a peaceful retreat when exploring the local countryside, and you can even take a snooze in one of the hammocks in the surrounding forest.
Traditional Turkish kebabs, freshly caught trout from the stream, mezes, BBQ, and pides are served and the prices are very reasonable. Large signs from the main highway on both sides of Yatagan indicate the country road to get there.
During a recent romp in Istanbul, we were seeking something a bit more than classic (albeit delicious) Turkish fare for lunch, and a friend suggested Ficcin for its Georgian cuisine. There were approximately a half dozen Circassian dishes on the menu, including a thick triangular shaped borek with mince meat, circassian chicken with walnuts and red pepper paste, and Circassian ravioli with garlic yogurt sauce. The chicken soup broth was also very tasty, especially on a cold, damp Istanbul day. The final bill was very reasonable for three persons, taking into account our wine.There are six venues of Ficcin on all the same side street off of Istiklal Caddesi in Beyoglu. All the food comes from the same kitchen, and service was very courteous and friendly.
One of the most eclectic pairings we've encountered in our eating adventures recently were prawns stuffed with avocado and pink grapefruit, wrapped in bacon and drizzled with a mustard lemon sauce. And it worked with spectacular results at Platanos Restaurant.
Platanos Restaurant and Cafe is located in a quiet square in Kos Town underneath the shade of the plane tree where Hippocrates pruportedly taught his students the art and ethics of medicine.
Assistant manager Pasxalia welcomed us warmly and we were also presented with a complimentary after dinner drink of Mavodaphne of Patras. Read our full review on Tripadvisor.
Having eaten some spectacular food in Houston, Denver and Los Angeles during this past month, it was a minor culinary culture shock to return to our local Icmeler, Bodrum cafeteria for a working lunch with our crew.The opening greeting line in a hip California bistro by an uber-tan, gender-neutral, toothy wait-staffer resembles
‘Hi Honey! - And how are we doing today? You are just going to die for our house special, which is a cilantro -chorizo organic baby goat cheese flatbread pizza flavored with wok-roasted Danish caraway seeds baked in a carbon emission friendly sustainable wood burning Sedona clay oven served with a full bodied house pinot noir-cab-sav blend for only 24.99'.
In contrast, our Bodrum boatyard mess hall greets us with a pointed finger ”Sit over there.”
If you close your eyes to the plethora of grubby overalls and remnant whiffs of paint and varnish under fluorescent lighting, the daily local fare is generally no nonesense and tasty, but one can certainly forget the cab-sav. Our little cafeteria serves a fixed lunch selection of 4 entrees, ample fresh bread and tea or coffee to help continue the workday with, all for approximately 10 TL. And when they run out of food, the doors close, so get there by 12:00. This is absolutely as native as one can get
Winter in Bodrum brings seas of green leaved trees spotted with varying shades and sizes of orange dots. The road sides are dotted with makeshift sales stands as people try and sell the bumper harvests from their land or gardens to passers-by.
The market stalls are predominantly a bright cheerful orange, with wafts of citrus in the air.
From the nearby gardens along Camel Beach, Turquoise Ekim collected three different types of mandalins:
This is a favorite marmalade recipe from Turquoise Secrets:
Makes about 4 x 500ml jars
Bodrum mandalins 1 kg
Granulated sugar 2 kg
Fresh ginger 50g
Peel the mandarins, remove excess pith and julienne as thinly as possible. Do the same with lemon. Boil peel in water for 10 mins, rinse and repeat 3 times to remove bitterness. Put peel and juice of all mandarins together with peeled, finely diced ginger and sugar – make liquıd up to 2 litres by adding water to the juice. Bring to the boil and then simmer for one hour or until the marmalade sets when a teaspoon is poured onto a cool plate. Enjoy the zesty zing!
There’s even a mandalin jam contest taking place on the Bodrum peninsula on 15 February, 2014.
Bitter Lemon Cures
Also known as karavella, bitter melon is used by local Turks for various stomach and intestinal disorders including ulcers, colitis, constipation, and intestinal worms. It is also used for diabetes, kidney stones, fever, psoriasis, and liver disease. Taken orally, it truly is bitter tasting though some Indian and Chinese recipes attempt to disguise the flavor with heavy spices, and the truly queasy can take it in a powder form. When applied topically, bitter gourd is preserved in an olive oil solution and is available from the local Friday farmer’s market. Check it off on your provisioning preferences and we’ll have some on board for you.
Stuffed Zucchini Flowers
Don't be intimated by these delicate yet floppy, shapeless flowers. Pick them first thing in the morning or prepare them as soon as you get home from your local farmers' market and stuff them with anything. If allowed to sit for
too long, they wither and become difficult to work with.
Fresh ricotta, basil and parmesan with a tomato-garlic dip is the Italian version, while the local Bodrum favorite stuffing is a mixture of rice, currants, pine nuts and herbs.
Photo by Yilmaz Sahin, captain/owner of M/S Piccolo and a great chef
When Erkmen Kucuk (noteable charter agent of Arzu's Desire and other luxury yachts) teamed up with legendary restauranteer Suleyman Bulucu and chef Akan (formerly of Purple Rain), we knew the result would be delicious.
Specializing in Istanbul style mezes, Yesilkoylu is a true meyhane, with outdoor tables on cobblestones, pastel flower pots built into the ancient walls leading up to Marmaris castle, and traditional Greek and Turkish music.
The main courses change nightly, and always include one fish, one meat, one vegetarian and a pasta dish. We had a divine entree of baked lamb shanks accompanied by borek stuffed with spinach and shrimp and a green salad. Prices were reasonable - we paid 100 TL including wine
Anchovy Preserves (Boquerones)
Wintertime in Turkey means boatfuls of beautiful little anchovies. Our local fishmonger always has a kilo or two already cleaned and ready to go. Anchovies pickle excellently and easily: Alternate layers of salt, anchovy fillets, lemon slices, red pepper flakes in a small airtight container and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Garlic can also be added. The fillets will be ready in a couple of days.
We recently had a business meeting at newly opened Hunger restaurant located in the Midtown shopping mall in Ortakent. Hunger has some neat, original ideas, like serving their wedge potatoes in a wire strainer, little wooden service tables, and tempting stainless steel barbeques brought directly to the table. The menu is extensive, offering everything from full breakfasts to fajitas, burgers, pasta, sandwiches and a generous wine list.
The food arrives just as described in the humorous menu and the service is adequate. There is ample reading material scattered throughout the restaurant, and one would have no hesitation about dining alone here.
With two more restaurants in Istanbul, the Bodrum venue is the third Hunger. The only drawback is that one could be in any mall, anywhere in the world.
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