Saturday, November 17, 2012

A different kind of Cultural Memory...

Deciding to go out to get some air and grab something to eat at the last minute turned into an experience that took us back in time and a journey to a time I had thought long lost.  Istanbul always had a tradition of Greek ladies who ran meyhane's (tavern) especially in and near Pera.  My husband took me to a restaurant tonight that is (almost) in our backyard, in Ferikoy, that he had heard about from his childhood. When we set out all we knew was that it was the best meyhane and it was ran by a Greek woman.  Despina Restaurant is the epitome of off-the-beaten-path, located on a dark street in an old decrepit neighborhood, with an excellent staff, good food and ...(it turns out) live music.

In typical meyhane style we ordered a couple of little plates of meze and a tek (one shot of)  raki. Just as we started our meal, a group of musicians came and started to play at the big table behind us. The familiar songs that we all sang along to, the raki with feta cheese and melon, and especially the local clientele all contributed to a very special evening that can only be experienced in Istanbul.

Despina Restaurant
Feriköy Mh. Açık Yol Sokak 9 Şişli, Turkey
+90 212 247 3357
(Around 60-70 TL per person)

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