Istanbul Diner Café brings a touch of the Mediterranean to Revere

The Istanbul Diner Café is bringing a new specialty, Turkish and Mediterranean food, to the city’s dining community and the response has been off the charts.

Residents have been turning out in big numbers for the beautiful, new restaurant, located at 120 VFW Parkway. The Shish Kebab plates – Lamb, Chicken, Adana, and Iskender – all served with rice, hummus, grilled tomato and pepper – have proven to be among the most popular dinners on the menu.

The Falafel and Shawarma/Doner plate, Kofte meatballs, and Lahmacun/Turkish pizza, have also been in high demand. Plates range in price from $8.95 to $16.95.

Istanbul owner Bekir Senates and his business partners, executive chef and owner Sal Ozgan, and owner Selman Cayhan opened the restaurant on July 17, a date that was pushed back from March 1 due to the coronavirus.

“Everything is going very well,” said Senates, 40. “We’re very happy how the Revere community has responded to our new restaurant.”

Osgan highlighted some of the other foods on the menu include the Turkish-style chicken wings. 

“We put a special sauce on the wings, marinate it overnight (12-24 hours), blend it, and we grill them nicely and perfectly on the grill and they come with two kinds of rice, Turkish baldo and white rice, hummus, salad, grilled pepper and tomatoes, feta rolls – and it’s specially homemade,” said 

Hamburgers, Greek salads, Shepherd salad, Caesar salads, cheese pizzas, and a kids’ menu are also bringing families through the door. The Istanbul Mixed Grill dinner of Shawarma, Chicken Shish Kebab, Kofte Kabab, and Lamb Shish Kebab allows diners to sample multiple specialties on one plate.

Diners will notice the spectacular city of Istanbul-influenced artwork on the wall by Bekir’s friend, who is an architect and arist, Muharam Olgun, along with the modern, interior design. “We remodeled the whole space,” said Senates proudly.

Many residents are finishing their meals with Istanbul’s wide selection of desserts –  baklava, kunefe, trilece, rice pudding, Tzatzaki yogurt, and Vanuartu coffee.

The three owners, Senates, Ozgan, and Cayhan, previously owned a successful coffee shop in Providence. They are now hoping to build a wide following as the newest entry into the Revere restaurant scene.

“We are very excited to open a restaurant in Revere where I lived for many years,” said Senates. “We have many customers and we look forward to 

(The Istanbul Diner Café is open seven days a week, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Takeout and delivery service are available.)

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