On a corner spot in quaint Arnavutkoy neighborhood of Istanbul's Bosporus communities, the Hayyam Restaurant (named after Omar Khayyam, the Persian mathematician and poet) offers a serene and comfortable atmosphere for a variety of Persian dishes some of which are quite wonderful. For example, the Persian style eggplant salad and the Persian yogurt and cucumber salad are sublime and the saffron-infused Persian ice cream is exceptional. Kebobs, Persian rice and stews are equally delicious. Family style serving of food makes the experience fun and convivial. In Istanbul, it is hard to compete with all those wonderful Turkish-specialty restaurants but this one does a nice job offering tastes of a neighboring cuisine of distinct flavors and methods of cooking, and a good spot to venture beyond the familiar.
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