Istanbul Modern, Rabia (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.
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, 'Jezerye' Carrots
Adana, a southern Turkish province, is famous for its carrot dessert 'jezerye'. It's akin to a pate de fruit made with carrots coated with shredded coconut and studded with nuts. Yes, coconut. The only place where coconut makes an appearance in traditional Turkish cuisine. We turn the dessert inside out into a roasted carrot and coconut curry dish. The curry is seasoned with Turkish spices.
Meze, Aegean mussels, grape leaves, roasted garlic, and olives
We cook PEI mussels in a very untraditional broth made with white wine, grape leaves, and tomatoes. We serve the dish with roasted garlic, grapes and olives.
Meze, Feta gallette with pea and asparagus marmalade
Perhaps less traditional but this dish to us embodies California-Eastern Mediterranean food. A little French, a little Californian and a little Eastern Mediterranean.
Meze, Labne salad with spring vegetables
We make our own labne for this dish. Strain and shape the yogurt and then roll it in spices. We serve it with fresh, roasted and blanched spring vegetables with great olive oil.
Meze, the Wild Card
We keep one Meze open for our creative project, a product that inspires us at the farmers market, or something that one of our other Middle Eastern specialty purveyors are excited about.
Sprouted mujadara, egg, and shaved bottarga
Mujadara is one of the most comforting dishes from Mesopotamia. It's basically Middle Eastern 'rice and beans'. Most recipes point to rice and lentils but we make ours with sprouted grains and sprouted lentils to capture a more delicate whole grain flavor. Bottarga are the cured eggs of red mullet. It's one of the most luxurious products from the Eastern Mediterranean.
Lamb shank in Iranian fesenjoon and Egyptian foule
Foule is to the Middle East what dal is to South Asia, it's everyman's food but also comforting and luxurious on the palate. Dried favas are the main game here, giving the overall stew a unique bitterness. Lamb shank is braised in a broth of pomegranate and walnuts. We serve this shared entree with a side of fresh shepherd's salad.
Moroccan argan oil chocolate cake and Turkish tea smoked ice cream
Argan oil is one of the most unique products to come out of the Middle East / North Africa. It's nutty, herbaceous and somewhat medicinal at the same time. We put it in our chocolate cake to give it a unique depth. We burn Turkish tea to flavor our milk ice cream with a little bit of smoke. It takes on a whole new character.
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, we are currently serving a Turkish tea and saffron kambocha and rum cocktail. We are brewing foraged eucalyptus kambocha to make a gin cocktail but we'll see where that goes. Stay tuned. - Green grape raki is served with mezes (single) - We will serve a Greek assyrtiko with mujadara - We will serve a Turkish red with the main course - 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, Rabia (10-course)
Russian Hill, San Francisco(Exact Address will be shared upon purchase.)