La Mia Luce: A Secret Garden of Italian Pleasures in Istanbul

Ask any Turk: one of our favourite cuisine is Italian, hence from high end to low cost the city is home to a number of Italian eateries. Back in 2013 I discovered one of the best on the Anatolian side of the city: La Mia Dolce. So much so that last summer while visiting home, I had to go back. A 15-minute walk away from the Suadiye stretch of Bagdat Street, La Mia Luce first dazzles with its beautiful landscaped gardens. Whether you choose to sit indoors or outside on the verandah, you are immersed into a secret garden. On long summer evenings as the one we chose for our second visit, it feels light and airy.

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The decor takes you back to Old Hollywood with mood lighting and black and white portraits of the big screen stars. One word: dazzling!

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Had the others not settled for a table closer to the garden, I would have definitely grabbed the one with the portrait of the gorgeous Sophia Loren.

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The menu is so rich you’re spoiled for choice. After almost 15 minutes of uhm-ing and oo-ing, we finally all settled for our final options. A sucker for seafood, I had to try the Linguine ai Frutti di Mare while hubby opted for Spaghetti a la Carbonara.

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We were feeling quite smug about our selection – until lo and behold, the order for our respective Mamas and Aunty came: Tagliata Con Asparagi. That is grilled sirloin steak served with asparagus to you and me.

Except Hubby who is a boring teetotaller of course, we all enjoyed some Bartali Chianti.

While we were quite full after the mains, the dessert menu was enough to lead everyone astray. Scared to take on a portion each, we opted to share Creme Brulee. Glad we did as the portions are so generous that we still struggled to finish two portions between four. Sadly, by the time we got around to dessert, it was so dark that there was no chance of getting an Insta-worthy shot of our Creme Brulee.

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The rest of the evening was spent as you would hope to spend most summer evenings: with good food, good wine and in good company, in laugher and great conversation. If you are looking for a chic Italian restaurant which has the sophisticated ambiance and the excellent food to boot, look no further than La Mia Luce.

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