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Months ago in the summer, we spent a couple weeks abroad in Turkey. Istanbul was one of our most anticipated spots to check out – the things we’d heard from friends about the food, the culture and the weather were beyond excellent. While we don’t typically engage in food tours for fear of them being cheesy, too touristy or inauthentic, the hype around the formerly called Istanbul Eats Istanbul Food Tour, now Culinary Backstreets, was real. Listed as one of the top ‘things to do’ and Istanbul Food Tour on TripAdvisor, raved about by bloggers and publications alike, including NYT, CN Traveller and HuffPost, we were convinced we had to try it.
This summer, we were lucky enough to have spent a bit of time travelling Turkey. Dream destination. Some of the most memorable moments we experienced were in Cappadocia – from the unique, insanely shaped landscapes we saw to the hearty, local foods we ate – not to mention the impossibly beautiful hotel we stayed at (Argos), we could not have asked for a more perfect vacation.
The Thompson Diner is the restaurant counterpart to the swanky Thompson hotel, located in the trendy King West Village district. Home to the offices of One Method, Cossette and other creative agencies, the area is teeming with artistic and eclectic shops, restaurants and clubs (I’m talking about Spin Galactic, the ping pong club founded by Susan Sarandon – how amazing is that?!). While some elements of the traditional diner remain – vinyl booths, servers dressed in gingham and unbeatable milkshakes – it is clear that they have revamped the concept with an eye for a more modern look suitable for the times.
The Publican is the newest restaurant from repeat James Beard Award winning chef Paul Kahan. Kahan made his mark on the Midwest culinary scene with his signature restaurants Avec and Blackbird. The ethos of The Publican is best described on the Chicago episode of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations in which Bourdain is invited to a family meal with Kahan and the restaurants staff.