La Brise, Istanbul
Tel: 90 212 244 4846
Concierge.com's insider take:
This Parisian-style bistro opened in March 2008 and is doing such a good job of serving up convincing French fare that it's become immensely popular: Book a couple of days in advance. Conveniently located in the center of Beyoğlu, around the corner from the Marmara Pera Hotel, La Brise is a small but bustling venue with a couple of tables outside in the warmer months. The menu offers everything français, from soupe à l'oignon to moules to five variations on the classic steak frites. The desserts are also fabulously French, and include a mille-feuille, a lemon tart, and a chocolate mousse to die for. It's owned by North Shield, a chain of Irish pubs, and the restaurant's almost gaudy abundance of too-new-to-be-true wooden panels, brass, and stained glass bear a striking and disappointing resemblance to the faux-Gaelic interiors of its brethren. But don't let the furnishings put you off your chicken liver pâté; instead, sit back and think of the glamorous Euro buffs from the days of Old Pera.
Open daily 10 am to midnight, September through May; 5 pm to midnight, June through August.