Cercis Murat Konaği
After a 35-minute ferry ride from central Beşiktaş to Bostanci, on Istanbul’s Asian side, you can walk along the water to this modern restaurant with outdoor seating and sea views. Inside, well-heeled Turks rediscover their provincial cuisine, a fusion of Turco-Arabic dishes from the city of Mardin, in southeastern Turkey. It’s almost fine dining: white tablecloths and waiters with trays of long-handled copper-and-steel spoons, each filled with an appetizer. Try the spicy pink muhammara dip with atomized bread crumbs and goat cheese. Among the entrées, tuck into the steamed kubbes—juicy, minced beef and pignoli-stuffed dumplings, which surely began life in Shanghai and traveled along the Silk Road to Turkey.