Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mezze to Die For (Bodrum Peninsula, Turkey)

In my head, I am speaking in hushed tones. Part reverence for this jewel of  a spot on the Bodrum Peninsula, and part "I don't know if I really want to tell about this." The town of Gumusluk is in a protected historical site, allowing it to escape the development in progress all around it. It is naturally protected as well, a sheltered cove that is perpetually serene.

There, at the far right end, slightly set apart from the other restaurants, we found the Gumus Cafe on the water's edge. The view from our table looked like this.

But it's not just the setting. It's the food. We had been eating mezze almost every night for the past 10 days -- at first by choice, and then at the insistence of Turkish friends. It's not really possible to skip this array of spreads and smoked dishes when dining out in Turkey. After the mezze come the salads and appetizers. Only then are you permitted to order the main course. By the time we got to Gumusluk, I was eager to skip over this procession and get right to the fish. After all, this was a fishing village, and fish is what the restaurants were known for.

It was not to be. As I was relaxing at our table at the water's edge, others in our party were off to view the mezze on offer. They came back having ordered...an exuberant array of mezze and appetizers. Right then, I knew we would never get to the fish course. As it turned out, I was not sorry. Not one bit. The Gumus Cafe has a seriously refreshing approach to these first courses, and even in my mezzed-out condition, I dove right in to that rapturous state that is the quest of all foodies. To top it off, the restaurant also carries an excellent Turkish white wine, Yucel Vineyards' Mayya '10, made from the Narince grape. Thanks to Tali for passing on this knowledge. 

Here is a pic of the label, plus two of my favorite dishes: grilled octopus salad and kelp salad

For my Istanbul post, click here
For my Cappadocia post, click here


AmandaRose said...

That sounds amazing! I would love to travel abroad and experience the food, as well as cultures all over the world!

Antoinette Ego said...

I wish that for you too, Amanda!