Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ahhh….there’s nothing like sitting near the water, drinking a cold beer and enjoying the lovely weather. And for once, it wasn’t an Efes.

Don’t get me wrong. I do enjoy drinking Efes here, but I miss a good, heartier draft beer.

Over the weekend, Jason and I decided to spend the afternoon in Bebek, which is one of the wealthier neighborhoods of Istanbul on the European shores of the Bosphorus. I just think it’s a super cute area where the streets are lined with great restaurants and gourmet shops. The neighborhood also has one of the best Starbucks in the world because of its water view.

We’d heard there was a real brewery in Bebek called TAPS. The company brews all-malt beers with ingredients imported from suppliers in the E.U. Apparently; the beer is even being exported to Japan, Sweden and the U.S.

The menu listed about 20 different craft beers, but our server told us there were only four available that day. I’m not sure if the brewery rotates the beers it has available or how it works exactly.

Well, I was happy to order a TAPS Vienna Lager, and Jason selected the Smoke Lager (Rauch Beer). My medium-bodied beer had a slight malt sweetness to it and reminded me of some local beers back in Baltimore, MD. Jason’s beer definitely had a smoky flavor, and I didn’t like it.

The brewery also offers a typical bar/pub menu filled with fried appetizers, hamburgers and brick-oven pizzas. We ordered the Freda Farm pizza with chunks of fried chicken and a ranch-like dipping sauce. Beer and pizza always goes well together.

We had a wonderful time just sitting by the Bosphorus, relaxing and talking throughout the late afternoon. I love being by the water. It’s quite tranquil and allows my mind to wander freely. I think all those years of living landlocked in the middle of the Midwest finally got to me. I’ve been living by a body of water ever since I moved to New York in 2004.

Later on, we decided to walk around Bebek and popped into a few of the shops. I bought 200 grams of heavenly Italian prosciutto and a few other food “necessities” from one of the gourmet stores.

We ended the evening at Kitchenette, a popular French Bistro that we’ve taken a liking to as well. We continued our food binge and ordered a beef carpaccio, a small carafe of white wine and an oh-my-god-to-die-for “hot chocolate tart.”

The tart shell was filled with a molten dark chocolate ganache that oozed out as soon as we put a fork into it. The dessert was amazing! Very rarely do I find a dessert that fits that description, but this was it.

If you make a trip to Istanbul, I’d highly recommend setting aside a few hours to stroll through Bebek.

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Mavi göz said...

Good place, nice view, great beer :D I also love waffles in Bebek! such a nice part of Istanbul