Tapas on the Bosphorus

  • Sunset views of the Bosphorus Bridge.

    Sunset views of the Bosphorus Bridge.

  • Vaulted ceilings over the main restaurant.

    Vaulted ceilings over the main restaurant.

  • Gökay Çakıroğlu takes the reins in the kitchen.

    Gökay Çakıroğlu takes the reins in the kitchen.

  • From Tapasuma's à la carte.

    From Tapasuma's à la carte.

  • Exposed brickwork in the former Ottoman distillery.

    Exposed brickwork in the former Ottoman distillery.

  • The main restaurant's cork flooring.

    The main restaurant's cork flooring.

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  • A new addition to Sumahan on the Water.

    A new addition to Sumahan on the Water.

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The sight of Istanbul from the eastern bank of the Bosphorus takes some beating, and a newly opened restaurant on the Çengelköy shore promises sunset city views and a great deal besides. Housed in a 19th-century Ottomon raki distillery, Tapasuma—a portmanteau of tapa, a bottle stopper, and suma, which translates as “unadulterated spirit”—is a new addition to Sumahan on the Water. Vaulted ceilings and clean tones maximize the light coming in from the line where East meets West, while kilims and divans on the upper level confer greater intimacy when the sun goes down. Gökay Çakıroğlu, formerly of Istanbul’s branch of the Four Seasons, serves a range of mezze and tapas on the restaurant’s eight-meter marble bar, complementing the à la carte seasonal fish and Turkish fare. Cold tapas include lamb neck rolled with pistachio and plum sauce, but look out for the grilled octopus with yellow lentil and sour sumac. The wine list has a regional focus—Aegean, Anatolian, and Thracian, mainly—but there are more than a few vintages to uncork from Western Europe.

Kuleli Caddesi No.43 Çengelköy; 90-216/401-1333/34.

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