Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Spot News: 1 Guest Chef; 1 Museum; 1 Restaurant; 1 Airline

Dear readers,

From time to time I have decided to prepare posts titled "Spot News" and give you up-to-date info on different events, exhibition openings, etc. side by side along with my more long-winded posts on a variety of subjects!

So, here's the first of hopefully many many more spot news from Istanbul & around the world!

da Vittorio is one of Italy's renowned and respected 3 Michelin star restaurants and is located in Bergamo (about 40 km from Milan), Italy. The popular eatery's 2nd generation chef Enrico Cerea will be a guest chef at Aqua Restaurant at the Four Seasons Bosphorus Hotel between February 18 and February 23. The family-run da Vittorio received its 3rd Michelin star in 2009 and this longstanding family owned restaurant is managed by the Cerea family which includes mom, dad Vittorio and Enrico's brothers and sisters Roberto, Francesco Barbara and Rosella. 

Enrico, aka "Chicco" and Roberto, aka "Bobo" Cerea 
Now... the brothers Cerea will share some of their dishes with discerning guests at the elegant and refined Aqua Restaurant at the Four Seasons Bosphorus! 

A special menu has been prepared for the event which will be available during dinner on these dates and Enrico will also be preparing the delicacies offered during Sunday Brunch at Aqua Restaurant on February 23rd.

If for some reason you can't make it to this event, I still highly suggest you visit Aqua Restaurant for lunch or dinner... their Executive Chef Sebastiano Spriver is a fantastic chef and I've been fortunate enough to taste many of his innovative and delicious selections from refined Italian cuisine.

Reservations are highly recommended, so call Tel: (0212) 381 4059 for additional information. 

Two temporary exhibitions opened on February 5th at the Suna & Inan Kıraç Foundation Pera Museum located in a restored historical building in the heart of the Pera District in Istanbul. Both exhibits can be visited until April 20th.

The first, Picasso: Engravings and Ceramics from the home of his birth" includes 56 engravings and 8 ceramics of Pablo Picasso's works from the Museo Casa Natal Collection located in Malaga and formerly his home and birthplace.

The other exhibit, titled Aurora: Contemporary Nordic Glass Art includes 51 works from 25 artists from Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Finland and Denmark.

Artist: P. Lake
While at the museum, make sure to visit the sections of the museum that include their permanent collection - you definitely will not be disappointed!

Visit their website for detailed information about the museum, exhibition and visiting hours.

P.F. Chang's is my favorite Chinese restaurant in Istanbul and I have been a customer ever since they opened a branch in Istanbul about  1 1/2 years ago and have eaten there many times with friends or from time to time have been invited to events.

I was just at P.F. Chang's, which is located in Etiler on Monday night with a group of bloggers and we are invited so that they could share their Valentine's Day menu with us.

The set "condensed" menu includes some of their regular dishes. The menu includes soup (Hot & Sour Soup) and a choice of two appetizers, 2 main courses, dessert for two (this is prepared special for Valentine's Day) coffee, tea and 1 glass of wine/each. The price is 190 TL/for two.

The following are just some of the samples we tasted and I must say my all time favorite is the Dynamite Shrimp! 

Dumplings, Salt & Pepper Calamari & Dynamite Shrimp

Beef with Broccoli & Crispy Honey Shrimp
Personally, I find the meat dishes a little too salty for my taste because of the sauces used, but the shrimp dish is excellent and the "Dali Chicken" also received high marks from the bloggers.

If you still haven't made a reservation for Valentine's Day, P.F. Chang's can be a good alternative... the food is very good, the service efficient and the 2 story venue (plus a 3rd floor for private events) is airy, spacious and comfortable. (Tel: (0212) 358 60 60)

P.F. Chang's /Etiler, Istanbul
Turkish Airlines, or THY for short is my favorite airline, and not only because I'm Turkish! I think THY has the best flight attendants, the fleet is constantly being renewed and new destinations are constantly being added.

So, for all my domestic and international flights, THY is my preference. I also find their "Miles&Smiles" program very easy: you can collect miles quickly with flights and a local credit card (I've gotten many many business class tickets with my miles on international flight very easily - even with "restricted" seating miles) and THY is a member of Star Alliance.

I'm definitely not an "expert" on business lounges around the world, however, I have visited some in Europe (Paris, London, Spain, Italy) and by far, the THY Business Lounge in Istanbul is beyond compare. It is very spacious, the food, drinks, services and amenities are beyond compare. Can you imagine, the THY Business Lounge is 3,500 square meters, however, since THY flies to 105 countries around the world and as Istanbul has become a major "transit" passenger point, the lounge was having a difficult time handling the influx of business class passengers especially during the morning "rush hour" flights! Many times I was unable to find a place to sit due to the crowd.

Of course THY was aware of this problem, so in a few short 2,5 months, the Business Lounge was expanded and an additional 2,400 square meters was added and opened to the public just yesterday - February 11.

The following are some pictures of the new Turkish Airlines Istanbul Lounge annex, located at the Atatürk International Airport in Istanbul which includes a whole host of new seating areas, golf simulator, miniature race car track and much more! I can't wait to visit the new annex! ( 

Stay well,

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