Monday, December 26, 2011

The year's best bites

Crispy, buttery trout, fresh out of the pond at the Has Bahçe motel in Hasankeyf, served on a cold, rainy night and simply but perfectly prepared.

A breakfast table heaving with sweet and savory pastries, homemade fruit preserves, pungent olives, and the freshest cheeses at the Panorama Otel in Bozcaada.

Plump khinkali and rich, cheesy khachapuri with a view of buses pulling in and out of a poorly lit station at Cafe Euro.

Spicy stir-fried beef with kimchi and all the right trimmings, eaten upstairs from a Korean karaoke bar near Taksim Square.

Melt-in-your-mouth custard-filled Laz boreği at the Black Sea meyhane Mohti.

Stuffed mussels and garlicky greens on a cobblestone backstreet under hanging vines in the seaside town of Ayvalık.

These are just a few of my "perfect little dining moments" in Turkey this year, the ones that came back to me while deciding which experience(s) to choose as my Best Bites of 2011 for Istanbul Eats. My guest submission, "Beating the Meyhane Blues," was published today, putting me in the esteemed company of food writers Robyn Eckhardt from EatingAsia and Katie Parla of Parla Food. Here's to more good eating in 2012.

Photo of the decadent Bozcaada breakfast by my traveling companion Tracey H.

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