Good for: Romance, Large groups, Doing business, Local cuisine, Outdoor seating, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night, Dessert
Description: Asitane Restaurant is located in Edirnekapı, considered by many to be one of the most important areas of historical Istanbul. The neighborhood is a typical quiet Turkish “mahalle” within a short walking distance to important Byzantian monuments. The restaurant itself lies in the shadow of the mighty Chora Church which is famous for its mosaics and is one of the most important and well kept buildings of the Byzantine era. Located high up in the foot hillsoverlooking the Golden Horn, Asitane opened its doors in 1991, together with the Kariye Hotel, a restored 19th century traditional Ottoman mansion. The restaurant, whose dishes reflect the eclectic nature of the Turco-Ottoman neighbourhood, was named Asitane which not only means “Head Gate” in Farsi but was also one of the many names given to Istanbul throughout the reign of the Ottoman Empire. Thus it was decided that the restaurant shouldspecialize in fine Ottoman court cuisine. Extensive research was undertaken six months prior to the opening of the restaurant as kitchen registries deep from the archives of Topkapı andDolmabahçe Palaces were scoured for recipes, and relevant documentation was found in Istanbul’s Beyazıt and Millet libraries. Additional important sources of information for the duration of the preparation period were dug up using old Ottoman dictionaries, the writtenhistoric accounts of various statesmen, medical practitioners and soldiers. After sixteen years in hospitality, Asitane now boasts an impressive archive comprised of over 400 forgotten sweet and savory recipes, which are prepared in keeping with the cooking methods of 500 years ago. Nearly one hundred recipes had to be discarded or modified in order to either suit today’s modern palate, or simply because the ingredients no longer exist in this day and age.The current menu features dishes originally prepared for the sumptuous celebration feast given for Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent’s two sons, Bayezid II and Şah Cihangir, at EdirnePalace in November 1539 as well as classic dishes of Turkish cuisine. The restaurant periodically has themed menus such as “The Age of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror”, “Ottoman Aphrodisiacs”, “Fish and Seafood Ottoman Style” as part of its mission tointroduce the tastes of a bygone era to all. Asitane also offers a large selection of fine Turkish wines to accompany your historic feast. Asitane Restaurant is open everyday from 11:45-23:30. Additionally the restaurant caters for weddings, parties, corporate and special events. The indoor section comfortably seats 120. During the summer months it’s serene courtyard, seating 150, offers a wonderful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Thursday thru Sunday evenings you may enjoy the soothing sounds of live classical Turkish music.