Much like its sister restaurants in Berlin, Barcelona, Miami and West Hollywood, Cecconi’s Istanbul serves up classic Northern Italian dishes in stylish surrounds. Cecconi’s is, you see, a part of the lauded Soho House stable. Here it’s found in the courtyard of the 19th century Palazzo Corpi that houses Soho House Istanbul – a dream of a hotel-cum-members’ club and an atmospheric spot to pop by for a meal. All the better to get a contact high from that Soho House luxury. And a damn fine plate of spaghetti. With lobster, of course.
The menu at Cecconi’s Istanbul runs the gamut of Italian favourites, from meatballs in a heady basil-rich tomato sauce to wood-fired pizzas topped with Prosciutto San Daniele, rocket, and burrata. There’s thickly-cut pappardelle with rich duck ragout and a whisper of orange. Beef tartare with black truffle and quail egg. And baked gnocchi with gorgonzola. The crispy fried calamari comes with a smoked tomato aioli, the fried olives with smoked beef and provolone. And there are a few Turkish ingredients elegantly woven in, like the Kırkağaç melon served with prosciutto. All told, it’s a delicious menu that’s sure to please a crowd.Especially if you throw in a bottle or two from the wine list, which has a great Turkish showing and a good smattering of bottles from both the New and Old Worlds. The cocktails, meanwhile, are well made and potent – just what you want if you’re just kicking back in the elegant dining room (all marble, lush greenery, deep wooden accents, and glittering chandeliers) waiting for the rest of your party to arrive. Or just because. When they’re that good, who needs a reason?