Taste of Turkey, Russia, Jamaica, China for Downtown Kitchen Around The Globe Tour

(Photo Credit: Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails)

Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails is treating Tucsonans to the ultimate staycation this summer with the Around the Globe Tour. Beginning May 26, unique cuisine from four cities across three continents will be featured sans the jet lag and packing.

The tour begins in Istanbul, the culinary capital of Turkey. The menu’s fresh, authentic ingredients will be sourced from local Middle Eastern grocers, the restaurant’s gardens, and Andra’s Garden at Children’s Museum of Tucson.

“This year we start our Around the Globe Tour in Istanbul, Turkey. It is a city of layers and layers of history straddling Europe and Asia,” said Chef and Owner Janos Wilder. “As the gateway to Asia and the beginning of the Silk Road, Istanbul provides a plethora of culinary opportunities for us to explore.”

Each city’s menu will be served nightly for a month, and includes your choice of three appetizers, three main courses, and two desserts. See the full Istanbul menu and a few cultural notes courtesy of Downtown Kitchen below.

Downtown Kitchen Istanbul Tour Menu

Appetizers
  • Cucumber, Pistachio and Yogurt Salad – Preserved lemon, red flames, mint, pomegranate molasses
    • “This salad emphasizes well-chosen ingredients to pair with cucumbers, which are farmed in small villages outside of Istanbul.”
  • Heirloom Tomato Salad with Pea Shoots and Feta – Sumac dressing, shallots, chives
    • “Sumac, a small, red fruit grown in Africa and North America, provides a lemony flavor common in Mid-Eastern cooking.”
  • Crispy Duck and Sour Cherry Filo – Almonds, beet and honey-scented yogurt
    • “With Greek influences found in the thin filo pastry, this dish combines the concept of stuffed pancakes found in Turkey’s mountainous regions.”
Main Courses
  • Constantinople Lamb Ragout and Cheesy Eggplant Puree – Oregano, honey, harissa, mint, rose vinegar pickled red onions
    • “This dish was served to the Empress Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III, in 1860. She asked for the recipe but was refused by the Imperial Chef. The recipe was leaked and has found its way into Turkish cuisine.”
  • The Whirling Dervish – Butternut squash sauce, Baba Ganoush, green peas, fried cauliflower florets, beet chips, pistachios, Harissa oil, goat cheese
    • “Whirling Dervish describes Sufi dancing, in which the performer attempts to reach religious ecstasy through dance. Dervish are religious figures who were often poor and went door to door seeking help.”
  • Turkish Mussel Po-Boy – Griddled torta, fried mussels, onion sumac salad, chopped lettuce, walnut tarator sauce, fries
    • “This recipe transforms a favorite Istanbul snack, skewered batter fried mussels with lemon and tarator dipping sauce, into a meal.”
Desserts
  • Turkish Coffee Pot Au Crème – Sesame cookie
  • Sticky Fig Cake – Candied orange honey frozen yogurt

The three-course menu is $33 and $38 with the Lamb Ragout entree.

Additional featured cities include Moscow, July 7 through August 3; Kingston, August 4 through August 31; and Chengdu, September 1 through October 12.

For seasoned travelers, the restaurant will be issuing and stamping “passports”, which reward guests with free meals. Four stamps will get you a free appetizer and eight stamps earn a free dinner.

For more information, visit downtownkitchen.com

Theresa is a copywriter, food explorer and pursuer of all things creative. Find her at theresadelaney.com.

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