Sabahattin is another popular seafood restaurant in Istanbul. It’s situated in the historic part of town, Sultanahmet, where the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace are located. While this is more of a tourist area than anything else, Sabahattin is one of the few exceptions that draws the locals to this district. That’s a pretty strong endorsement. This was our very first meal in Turkey, and it was a wonderful way to start the trip. The weather was lovely, so outdoor seating was available. The restaurant encloses the stone-paved road in front of the building with grape vines and sets out tables for outdoor seating. So charming! The only disadvantage to sitting outside was the stray cats lingering around for scraps of delicious seafood — lucky cats! We chose a good selection of cold meze. One of the reasons I love Turkish food is the meze — everything is fresh and you get to open up your appetite with a variety of tastes. One dish that stands out in my memory is the cinnamon rice with mussels. I had not tasted anything like it before and we made sure to order it, or a similar dish, at subsequent meals. After finishing our starters, the catch of the day was brought to our table on a tray. We chose the bluefish, which was in season, and a sea bass, both to be grilled. The bluefish was tasty and juicy but the sea bass was lackluster and dry. The waiters as well as the other diners were friendly and had a good sense of humor, making it a relaxing and fun meal.