Travel + Leisure dergisinin Ekim sayısında çıktı bu yazı. Londra, Paris, Madrid, Roma ve Istanbul’dan lokantalar var. Istanbul’dakilerden biri de Kantin:
On a recent jaunt through five of Europe’s eating capitals, I’d decided I would engage zero deconstructed asparagus or rearranged pot-au-feu. Instead I would set out across the Continent and England with a simpler goal: I wanted an illusion—at least during two weeks of mealtimes—that the fractured, globalized world around me would cohere once more. That each city would still hold something particular and unique—an enduringly un-movable feast.
Bistros and brasseries, Italian trattorias, Spanish tapas bars, British pubs—as I write, these archetypal European restaurant genres are being cloned across five other continents, units of a vast global restaurant industry. But while any decent designer can work up a convincing simulacrum of a burnished mirror, or skillfully affect a patina of age, the spirit of a place can’t be packaged. In a world of reproductions, the original still weaves a spell.
A restaurant should be emblematic of place; rooted in local traditions; often pickled in time … and possessed of that elusive je ne sais quoi we call soul. Over my two decades of eating in Europe, I’ve gotten to know that kind of restaurant well; old favorite haunts have become my anchors, my homecomings, and in discovering new ones I tried to single out those instant classics that will continue to draw me back again and again ………
…….. You could say that Kantin Lokanta is the esnaf lokanta of the skinny-jeans-and-status-sneakers brigade—a fueling stop for residents of the leafy, boutique-y Nisantasi district. You could say, too, that chef S,emsa Denizsel (a former food stylist) is the Alice Waters of Turkey, evangelical about everything local and seasonal. Bugun (today) is the most important word at her chic, understated place anchored with bouquets of white lilies. We eye the small blackboard daily menu. Today brings braised leeks, their natural sugar tempered by marinated green almonds, and a diaphanous stew of young grass-fat Thrakia lamb, favas, flat beans, and artichokes. With the sour-cherry milk pudding comes a thick Turkish coffee served with a spoonful of aromatic mastic gum—an Ottoman-era palate-cleanser ……….