An empty fridge on a Friday night saw us heading out in search of a tasty meal within walking distance, yet away from the Grote Markt and Haarlem’s restaurant patch. We decided on Restaurant Constantinopel located just north of the train station on a busy corner in the Frans Hal neighbourhood.
The restaurant has the capacity to comfortably seat 24 guests, with extra seating available on the footpath. There is a lovely spacious feel, with enough distance between tables to allow for conversations. Decorations and lighting add color and an exotic touch to the interior. The menu is vast, including vegetarian and child meal options. Friendly knowledgeable service from staff.
Having witnessed the main meals that were delivered to our fellow diners, we opted to forego the entrees and to restrict our order to main dishes, with the later option of dessert. We ordered a bottle of Angora Wit wine (€20) and were served a complimentary appetizer of tasting dips and toasted Turkish slices.
Talas Kuzu (€18): lamb slices and green leaf vegetables wrapped in pastry, decorated with a grilled sweet paprika. The lamb slices were succulent and perfectly matched by the vegetables. The separately served gravy sauce had a tomato, cream base and was filled with mushrooms. Accompaniments included a grilled potato and tomato slice, and a homemade tomato salsa (Turkish style) and light tahini sauce.
Cupra Baligi (€18.50): Fillet of Sea Bream (dorade) lightly coated with olive oil, dill and garlic and served on a bed of spinach, with a separate dish of the same mushroom gravy on the side, grilled sweet paprika and accompaniments. Beautifully presented. Perfectly cooked fish fillet – with the fresh taste complimented by the fresh herbs.
The main meals were served with bowls of rice + spiced bulghar wheat, and a green salad decorated with pomegranate seeds.
I really enjoyed this meal. The dishes were generous and beautifully presented. The tastes were fresh and the combination of flavors worked to satisfy the palate. The total bill: €56.50. This eating experience bought back fond memories of holidays in Turkey. We walked home agreeing to plan a return visit to Istanbul and to Restaurant Constantipol.