Arabesque is another innovative institution by İzzet Çapa, the famous nightlife guru of Istanbul who runs Çapa-Marka Entertainment group. Often referred to as a neo-Lebanese restaurant it turns into a nightclub after dining hours are finished. Located in the fashionable Maçka neighborhood, the colorful venue’s external walls are covered with pop-Arabic graffiti and murals by the famous Lebanese artist Yahya Muhakkin. Inside the bright, eclectic furnishings mix with more elegant couch filled lounging areas and Arabian latice-work patterns. There is a large dining area outside from which there are fantastic views of the Bosphorus.
The menu focuses on Middle Eastern fare, with plenty of meze options, few mains, and a variety of desserts. The cuisine borrows heavily from the spices and flavors of the region and the tables are decorated with rose petals. Meanwhile the alcohol flows freely, a live singer wanders among the diners and a fixed menu is available to make life easier for large groups. After dinner, the venue moves into nightclub-mode with live belly dancing performances and colorful shows each night. Later on the DJ plays a mix of music from oriental Arabic to Turkish pop and rap, but always keeping the energy high.
Arabesque offers a unique evening of oriental glitz with a great Bosporus view and the venue is ideal for bachelorette parties and birthday celebrations. Keep in mind that the venue gets quite crowded, even on weeknights, so make sure you make reservations in advance.