Istanbul Modern, Bahar, 10-course

In-PersonRussian Hill, San Francisco


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Available for purchase
Banquet (20+ Guests)
mediterranean, middle eastern, turkish
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 our spring menu. Vegetarian options upon request.

Menu detail

Simit and Yogurt Butter
Small Plate
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, Dalida's Dolmas
Small Plate
Dalida is Sayat's mother. This is one of the few dishes that we serve at Istanbul Modern that is true to the classic preparation. Shallots, currants, pine nuts, and a little bit of rice to bind it all. The one bite wonder comes together as a succulent, sweet and sour morsel.
Sorrel and pistachio tabouleh with farmers cheese
Small Plate
Many thing tabouleh is a salad of bulgur. We think of tabouleh as an herb salad where bulgur, or cracked wheat berries, are a vessel for the bright dressing. Ice compressed pistachios and farmers cheese bring unique textures to a dish that we composed mainly of foraged herbs, primarily sorrel.
Spring salad; asparagus, favas, peas, hazelnuts
Small Plate
This dish comes together as a salad with a warm dressing. The dressing is green goddess made with tarragon, tahini and buttermilk.
Black hummus with pastirma spiced lamb
Small Plate
This is a dish with incredibly deep flavors. We make our own black garlic, black tahini and black lime to give the funky umami that characterizes this dish. We top it with fenugreek, paprika and garlic seasoned lamb that is cooked in brown butter as hummus is served warm with pastirma cooked in this way in Turkey.
Meze, Seasonal meze inspired by the farmers market
Small Plate
We will decide on this last meze as we find inspiration from our visits to the farmers market, our foraging grounds, and our specialty purveyors.
Kibbeh nayye, Lebanese lamb tartare with mint ‘Ayran ashi’
Small Plate
Every neighborhood in Istanbul will have a ‘cig kofte’ (raw meatball) spot where you will see a strong, husky mustached man knead lamb with bulgur and spices into delicious morsels of lamb tartar. Our approach is more delicate. We serve our tartare with a mint ‘ayran ashi’ which literally translates to ‘yogurt meal’, it’s our sauce.
Roasted whole sea bass wrapped in grape leaves with muhammara and walnut milk
This is a shared entree. A whole Turkish sea bass (i.e. branzino) roasted wrapped in grape leaves. We serve it with a muhammara sauce and a grape leaf infused walnut milk. We serve the whole fish with Iranian bejeweled pilaf on the side.
Strawberry and rhubarb baklava
We combine spring flavors with a traditional Middle Eastern dessert. Nuts, berries, vinegars and spices are incorporated into a filling that is bright and bold. The dessert is only mildly sweet unlike a traditional baklava.
Sour cherry and mahlab liqueur
Mahlab is the seed of a special cherry from the Middle East. It's a unique ingredients with bitter almond and cherry flavors. It's mostly used in baked goods but we use mahlab for our liqueur. Sour cherry provides the front and mahlab gives depth.
Beverage pairing
This item is only the description for the beverage pairing that is available as an add on. Wines are subject to change based on availability. This is a sample pairing. Homemade Turkish tea kambocha cocktail, rum, spices Raki - Green grape raki served with mezes Peloponennese Aghiorhitiko - Black cherries, blackberries, plums, dried herbs, medium-bodied. Greek assyrtiko -- Mineral, aromatic wine paired with the briny fish course. Melengic coffee -- Wild pistachio steeped with milk


Beverage pairing, see description on menu

Istanbul Modern, Bahar, 10-course

In-PersonRussian Hill, San Francisco
(Exact Address will be shared upon purchase.)