(già pubblicato su The Guide Istanbul)
Due Forni: quality and flair, Italian-style It might seem an odd choice of location for restaurant in Istanbul: bordering the urban park of Göztepe, close to the Marmara Sea, with no AVM and no Bosphorus in sight, where every April the metropolitan municipality celebrates the tulip. But Due Forni, a new venture opened a few months ago, is one of the best Italian restaurants in town – and it’s the place to go for seafood. The name comes from Due Forni’s double set of pizza ovens. It’s a cosy and welcoming place, with some 180 places inside, along a sleek wooden bar, and on the veranda.
The chef, Giuseppe Usai, comes from the island of Sardinia: he’s worked at some prestigious hotels and restaurants in Porto Cervo and Milan, and for five years as the personal chef of the Russian tycoon Roman Abramovich, traveling the world with his family. Usai loves fish, and he knows how to make it special. Not that he does anything too fancy – instead, he craves authenticity. For instance, there’s the salad of octopus with french beans, potatoes, and cherry tomatoes presented in vertical stripes (yes, it looks like the Italian flag, Tricolore): the flavours are delicate and intense, the pesto sauce adds an unexpected twist.
The menu, recently revamped, is rich and varied, featuring not only fish, but meat and pasta as well. From the extensive selection, we particularly recommend the minestrone with vegetables, the goat-filled handmade ravioli with porcini mushrooms, the fillets of sea bass cooked with fresh herbs and cherry tomatoes, and the classic tiramisù. Each dish is light and perfectly balanced, as Italian and Mediterranean cuisine should be. “My cuisine is simple and traditional, with a pinch of fantasy according to my mood,” Giuseppe told The Guide Istanbul over lunch. “The ingredients are high quality, with a few cheeses, pastas and tomato sauces imported directly from Italy”.
The official menu, however, is only a starting point for the chef. Every day he proposes a few extras, depending on the season and his inspiration, to his regular clients. One of his new creations is the parmigiano basket filled with seafood (from clams and shrimps to salmon), both delicious and a pleasure for the eyes. Prices are around 100-120 tl per person, without alcohol; there’s an extensive list of Italian, Turkish, and international wines and spirits.
Ristorante Due Forni
Prof. Dr. Hulusi Behçet Caddesi n° 10