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Restaurants & Bars 2

Istanbul Blue - New Turkish/Mediterranean Restaurant in Vienna

MikeR | Jun 22, 2015 09:25 AM

About 30 years ago, Vienna was home to Nizam's, a friendly neighborhood Turkish restaurant that was quite good. When they closed up 5 years or so, Kabob Tavern opened in the same location. They were good but didn't last, and were followed by another kabob shop that wasn't so hot and was barely open a year before shutting down. Now, that location is the home of Istanbul Blue. When I mentioned to the hostess that we used to visit Nizam's, she told us that her father, who's the chef of the new restaurant, cooked at Nizam's.

Nizam's was a really pretty place, the kabob shops much less forma - paper plates and bare tabletops - though Kabob Tavern tried a fancier version of itself upstairs that I think they discontued before shutting down completely. Istanbul Blue prettied up the downstairs substantially and has the updstairs open again.

About the food. There were three of us, one had chicken kabob (as she always does), one had kubideh kabob (as he always does) and I had donner kabob. The chicken and kubideh were as good as any of the other local places, though the portions were a little smaller than Shamshiry. My donner kabob (lamb) was a bit on the dry side, but was very nicely flavored, and it was real stacked sliced meat, not the ground meat pressed into a truncated cone and frozen that you usually get disguised as a gyro.

Sides aren't much to write about - white rice, a vegetable skewer, and french fries. We had one of each. The fries were almost certainly frozen, the rice was rice, and my vegetable skewer was a few chunks of grilled squash, green pepper, onion, tomato, and a small, very hot pepper. A soup, lentel or cream tomato is included with the dinner platters. My lentel soup was delicious. The tomato soup got a "quite good." Their bread is thick but airy, more like focaccia than pita, with free refills. I think it's the base for their "Turkish pizza" but I didn't ask.

All in all, a decent meal in an attractive place, with friendly servers.

I think the name of the shopping center where it's located is Village Green, at the intersection of Maple Aver (Rt. 123) and Nutley Street.

There's a menu and some photos at their web site:
http://www.istanbulbluerestaurant.com/

They offer carry-out of course, and take reservations either directly by phone or through Open Table.

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