The Turks are known for three things: their rich coffeehouse culture, extraordinary bazaars and temples, and going in with Caicos on a pretty sick summer place. Adding sweet grub in Somerville to the list, Istanbul'lu, now open.
The latest offering from a seasoned vet of the Turkish resto game (Istanbul Café, Anadolu, Rizelli Café) eager to bring his acclaimed culinary craft to a new 'hood, Istanbul'lu's a bright 10-table café traditionally decorated with colorful tapestries and benches, copper kettles/cups, Eurasian art, and an antique sword hung above a sign that reads "Enjoy Live Relax" -- but conveniently omits "or Die!!!!!". For small plate noshing there's pan fried zucchini Mucver chopped w/ eggs, parsley, and feta; Sigara Borek (special fried dough filled w/ feta and egg whites); and onion, pine nut, and fried pepper stuffed baby eggplant, which is probably going to have gastric issues when it's older. Ottoman hand eats include a mixed sucuk and pastrami Karisik panini; a kasar sammie w/ cucumber, scallions, and olive; and a sliced tomato and cheese-topped Sucuklu made w/ spicy Turkish beef pepperoni, which is far preferable to spicy TÃ¼rkoÄŸlu beef pepperoni, since that takes forever to get good, and then is only that way for, like, a year before it ends up in Toronto, all disenchanted.
To go Hedo in the morning (or any time they're open), Ist'lu's got a salty white cheese (beyaz peynir) and tomato omelet; Cilbir (three yogurt topped eggs spiced with red peppers); and a two-person sampling of customary breakfast items (sucuk, watermelon, kasar) called Plate of Turkish Mornings, which are even nicer in their summer place, assuming Caicos didn't trail mad sand inside, again.