Istanbul Modern, Autumn (10 course)
Russian Hill, San Francisco
Available for purchase
Banquet (20+ Guests)
north african, greek, middle eastern
The legacy of Istanbul, once Constantinople, the capital of four empires, is greater than meets the eye. It's the Bosphorus, Black Sea, the Aegean, and the Mediterranean; Mesopotamia, Balkans, Anatolia, Caucasus, North Africa, and Persia. It's the palace and the countryside, the business capital and the cultural capital. It's a little Turkish, a little Greek, Armenian, Jewish, Arabic and Persian. It's Istanbul Modern. We tell the story. This is a sample menu and the contents are dynamic.
Simit and Yogurt Butter
We start our meals with a whipped yogurt butter, which we serve with simit. Simit is the most common street food in Istanbul, it's between a pretzel and a sesame bagel. But consumed in Istanbul more per capita than doughnuts, pretzels and bagels combined in the United States.
Meze, Eggplant Manti
Manti are Middle Eastern dumplings attributed to many different cultures. You can trace their evolution on the Silk Road all the way to China. We fill them with a smoky eggplant puree and serve them with a yogurt broth seasoned with pomegranate. Smoky, tart, high in umami, this is a very comforting dish.
Meze, Squid with skordalia
Skordalia is a fresh almond sauce seasoned with garlic and lemon juice. Our squid comes from Half Moon Bay, we season it with an Aegean spice mix and serve it in this fresh sauce skordalia.
Meze, Georgian Badrijani Nigzvit
During our travels in Georgia we hunted down many different versions of this incredibly flavorful meze. We still find ours are the best. Two very endemic spices give the depth to this dish that are in the spice mix, blue fenugreek and marigold powder.
Meze, Sumac glazed butternut squash
Sumac is a Mezopotamian berry at the center of the cuisine of the Levant. It’s tart, floral and earthy. We make a glaze with sumac and cook the squash in this glaze. Roasted wheat and candied sesame seeds add extra crunch to this dish.
Meze, the Wild Card
We keep one Meze open for our creative process, a product that inspires us at the farmers market, or something that one of our other Middle Eastern specialty purveyors are excited about.
Mid Course, Ninkasi Okroshka
We often emphasize that our cuisine derives from the area influenced by the Ottoman Turks. Ninkasi is the Sumerian goddess of beer, okroshka is a cold soup made in Ukraine with kvass (yeasted bread stock) and kefir. We take these two ideas and turn them into a fermented proto-beer, which we use as the broth we serve with a rich and strong-flavored mackerel.
Entree, Aleppo lamb belly kebob
This is a dish that involves two cooking techniques, a lamb stew that becomes the sauce for the lamb belly. Rich pepper flavors among with all the gaminess that the lamb breast carries come together to create a celebration of lamb. We serve it with bejeweled pilaf and Tunisian harissa.
Dessert, Antep pistachio pie with milk ice cream and ‘bird shit’ pistachios
We have traveled long and far but have not seen pistachios as beautiful and delicious as those in Antep. We wanted to share this uniquely intense pistachio flavor with you.
'Liqueur', the Finale
We made it a custom to start our meals with simit and finish them with a home made liqueur. We've served cherry/mahlab, mastica, bergamot and Turkish coffee liqueurs before. We'll have to see which one of our infusions have matured at the time of the event.
Beverage pairing, only available as an add on
- Your first drink will be a seasonal cocktail. Currently we're serving what we're calling 'Turkish spiced rum', a rum cocktail that's seasoned with Turkish tea kambocha, rose and mint, or other seasonal spices. - Green grape raki is served with mezes (single) - A glass of wine paired with mid course - A glass of wine paired with entree - And we will finish the meal either with sahlep (an orchid root drink) or melengic (a wild pistachio drink)
Beverage pairing, see details in menu
Istanbul Modern, Autumn (10 course)
(Exact Address will be shared upon purchase.)