There isn’t a lot of opportunity to escape Istanbul’s speed, and sometimes the city’s current can carry us off so quickly that we don’t even notice where we’ve gone. Once in a while we are lucky to come across a small sanctum where we can reawaken our senses.
Şans Restaurant is one of those places, whose garden exudes a hiding-behind-the-trees kind of quiet we can appreciate without hesitation. Yet apart from the modern interior, clad in a mirrored ceiling and dark wood, Şans is a bit of a nerd when it comes to its accomplishments.
Its membership in the Chaine de Rotisseurs, the international gastronomic society founded in Paris in 1248, is at the beginning of its bragging list of notable awards. Most recently the restaurant’s comprehensive wine list received the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence 2012 based on a well-chosen selection that exhibits both quality and a match to the menu in terms of price and style.
The restaurant is popular with the business lunch crowd who enjoys special corporate happy hours at the bar or the space upstairs reserved especially for group events. However, with a wine list that includes such rarities as the Château Margaux Premier Cru Classé from France, and other selections from Chile to Argentina, California to Australia to, of course, Turkey, dinner seems to be a more appropriate meal.
Complementing the wine is of course a menu of palate-pleasing entries that go from simple olive oil and vegetable dishes to heavier meats prepared tenderly. Notable are the Fresh Spinach Roots Cooked in Olive Oil as a starter, while the Slow Cooked Beef Rib, the Lemon Risotto, and the Pomegranate Reduction are all as beautifully presented as they are delicious.
For those less carnivorous, the Oven Baked Red Bream, Sauteed Vegetables, and Ginger Sauce are lighter options without any loss in taste. Don’t forget the dessert, which can come as a Fig Dessert served with pistachio ice cream or a Mastic Rice Pudding among other options depending on your sweet tooth’s cravings. Hacı Adil Caddesi Palmiye Sokak No.1, Levent; P: (0212) 280 38 38