Istanbul’s premier restaurant dynasty, the Ozkanca clan—father Rasim, daughter Bahar, and son Umut—owns some of the most accomplished spots in the city. Their flagship, however, is this elegant Harbiye District dining room with white-napped tables and contemporary Turkish art on the walls. Catering to local families and patrician businessmen, the Ozkancas take an anthropological approach to Turkish cuisine, researching recipes and ingredients in villages all over the country. A perfect meal here kicks off with plump red cabbage dolmas from the Black Sea region and progresses to keskek, a soothing wheat-berry “risotto.” Kunefe, a crisp sweet of shredded kadayif pastry and tangy cheese cooked over charcoal, tops our dessert list.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.