Wednesday, July 17, 2013

ALAÇATI VACATION 2013 Part 2: Wining & Dining at Fogo and Ferdi Baba in Alaçatı

Dear readers,

Today has been one week since I arrived in Alaçatı for my long awaited 2 week vacation and as the old cliche goes: "Time goes by so quickly when you are having a good time!"

As I mentioned in the first post of my vacation, I am staying at the Alaçatı Kapari Hotel and I recommend the boutique hotel to everyone who visits the area. For more information, you can read my blog post on the hotel.

After days and evenings of running around, I decided to hang out at the hotel during the day and just relax, read and write in my blog. Today is my 12 year-old nephew's birthday so my sister and I will be taking him out to dinner at a place of his choice called Dükkan Burger (an Istanbul based hamburger joint) in Alaçatı and they we will go to a "Go-Kart" place! It will definitely be a different, yet fun evening I'm sure! 

In this post, I want to share info on the two places that I went to for dinner on this trip so far and worth mentioning. Both are on the "higher end" priced side, but I believe you have to definitely treat yourself from time to time and both are worth the experience. 

On my first night in Alaçatı, my sister and I literally "stumbled" upon Fogo. 

Before coming to Alaçtı, I had heard that Carlo Bernardini, an exceptional chef and a long time dear friend of mine (16 years to be exact) had opened a restaurant at Alavya Boutique Hotel, also a newcomer this season in Alaçatı center. I had spoken to Carlo before arriving but I wasn't quite sure exactly where the restaurant was. 

My sister always parks her car in the same place in Alaçatı every time we visit the main area and as we were making a way towards the main street called Kemalpaşa Street, I noticed the sign for the Alavya Hotel. We quickly took a tour of the grounds of Alavya (gorgeous!) and if I get a chance to see the rooms before I leave I will be sharing more info on Alavya. Fogo, which is part of the same property (although managed by Carlo) is adjacent to the hotel. Alavya also has a restaurant called Mitu, which is also managed by Carlo's team, but once again, I haven't had a chance to try it.

It was late and I was tired from my trip but since it was a week night and there was a table available without a reservation, we decided to have a meal and catch up with Carlo...

Just some info on Carlo first... he has been in Istanbul for over 15+ years and for a while he was the Executive Chef at the Four Seasons Hotel at Sultanahmet. Then he had his own restaurant in Nişantaşı (Circus). Afterwards he moved abroad for several years and upon returning to Istanbul many years later, in 2002 he established a "Fine Catering and Events" company. For detailed info you can visit his website ( 

Fogo, which means "Venetian Fire" and so named because Carlo was born in Venice, Italyis located in an elegantly decorated expansive garden with an open kitchen, dim lighting and a long bar...

The menu includes a number of appetizers, pasta, main courses and grills (meat and fish)... Fogo also has a very good wine list with local and international selections and wines by the glass run from 14 TL to 20 TL each. 

nfortunately, due to the dim lighting I wasn't able to take any decent photos of the food we ate, but I can say that the "Shrimp Ceviche" (a starter),"Grilled Baby Calamari" and homemade sorbet were excellent! The prices are not cheap at Fogo and are comparable to other "fine dining" establishments in Istanbul. 

So, if you want to treat yourself to a fine dining experience with great food and excellent service, I recommend you go to Fogo, but make sure to make a reservation especially on the weekends as although Fogo has only been open for a couple of weeks, it is very popular. 

The other thing you can do and which I've already done several evenings since coming here is have a drink at their bar! 

Eray, one of the bartenders makes excellent and potent mojitas, long island iced teas, etc. and the DJ spins the best music! (3005 Sokak No. 6, Alaçatı; Tel: (0232) 716 66 52)

On my second night in Alaçatı, as well as last night my sister and I went to eat at Ferdi Baba, a seafood restaurant at the Port Alaçatı Marina which is only a 5 minute walk from my hotel.

The Port Alaçatı Marina is a huge complex with lovely homes, a state of the art marina and restaurants and bars ( and by far Ferdi Baba is the most popular restaurant in the marina, so always make a reservation before going. 

Ferdi Baba is quite spacious and while one side is more dimly lit, one portion of the restaurant has more lighting...

On both evenings, we sat on the dimly lit side, so once again unfortunately I wasn't able to take decent photos of the food we ate.

On our first visit we had a selection of appetizers which included a variety of Aegean greens in olive oil or yogurt, a luscious salad with tomatoes, greens and dried beets and grilled calamari which were all excellent! I also ordered a half-bottle of Turkish red wine which are typically not available at restaurants in Turkey, so I was happy to see that Ferdi Baba offered this option. 

Last night we skipped on ordering too many appetizers because we wanted to make room for fish, which you can select from the open display and the selections are quite varied. We ordered "sinarit" (dentex or porgy), a local Aegean sea fish which is served grilled. It was very fresh and grilled to perfection and since it was about 800 grams, more than enough for two people. The price of the fish changes daily and the prices per kg are on display so once you have your fish weighed, you will have an idea how much it will cost. Our fish was 120 TL and with 4 appetizers, 2 glasses of rakı (a Turkish alcoholic beverage commonly preferred with fish dishes), a non-alcoholic beverage and one dessert our meal cost 199 TL and the total bill was 220 TL as the tip is automatically included in the bill. This price also includes a 3.5 TL cover per person for water and bread. (Tel: (0232) 716 90 01;

I hope you get a chance to go to these restaurants when you visit Alaçatı! I hope to be writing about some of the others restaurants I plan on visiting during my trip either from Alaçatı or after I get back home to Istanbul.

Bon apetit!

Next up, I will be recommending some places you can visit to shop - but not your "run of the mill" shops!

Stay well,

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