Café Istanbul has been in the Inwood Village Shopping Center on Lovers Lane for over 15 years, but this summer regulars found their go-to Mediterranean spot closed for renovations. When the restaurant reopened in mid-October, customers returned to a more slightly modern vibe, with new dark wood accents around the room. But the place maintains some old-world charm, with ceramic tile floors and lanterns around the main dining room.
Owner Erol Girgin's menu of classic Turkish dishes is replete with charbroiled lamb, beef, chicken, rice pilaf, red peppers, onions, garlic and parsley, as well as mains like doner sandwiches, lahmacun (pizza) and lamb shank. Still one of the only Turkish restaurants in the city, the updated interior enhances this Dallas original.
The scene is prime for an adventurous date and can fluctuate between casual and low-key to intimate. If the large menu is daunting, the wait staff is eager to assist.
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Here are some more photos of the new space and same ol' food: