Time Out says
To us, the word “bistrot” might seem as French as the baguette and macaroon, but it actually originates from elsewhere. The word allegedly stems from “bystro,” a word used by Russian soldiers to mean “hurry up” when placing their order at cafes during the occupation of Paris. The reason we’ve reacquainted ourselves with the word recently is Bistrot Français, the new and improved café located inside the French Cultural Center. The venue also hosts talks that run concurrently with the exhibitions and film screenings at the Center. The creative team behind the décor is Olmaz İşler, who opted for recycled materials such as handmade lighting fixtures and paper ships dangling from the ceiling. The true star of the venue are its two gardens: a sizable one out front and a cozy one out back that’s quiet enough to make you forget you’re on İstiklal Caddesi. The menu overseen by Chef Nicolas Cartier from the Gastronomy and Culinary Arts Department at Yeditepe University naturally includes French flavors like the croque madame and the Vichyssoise, a cold soup that blends cream, potatoes and leeks. The menu is a hit with French natives like French Consul General Muriel Domenach and Institut Français Istanbul Director Matthieu Bardiaux. The tenderloin in particular is surprisingly tender and juicy, cooked medium-rare with a pink center. According to Consul General Domenach, Bistrot aims to be a hub that not only promotes French cuisine but also bridges the two cultures – and with a menu as rich as this, we see no reason why it shouldn’t.