On one of the gorgeous days we had in February E and I ventured over to the Asian side to meet another friend for lunch. As much as I love riding the ferries it usually takes something pretty extraordinary to get me over to the Asian side. Turns out that the Viktor Levi Wine House in Moda, Kadiköy is just such a place.
I was lured to Viktor Levi by the promise that the restaurant makes and serves its own wine so imagine my surprise when we ordered a bottle and the foil showed that the wine had been made by Kavaklıdere! I read the ‘about us’ section on the website but remain confused. As best as I can tell, Viktor Levi went off and studied the fine art of making wine, came back to Istanbul where he tried to sell it to the four existing wine houses here but they didn’t want to pay him what he thought his wine was worse so, in a strop and to teach them a lesson, started his own wine house. Then he died, something about a cousin going to America, and the wine house reopened in 1999. No mention of Kavaklıdere. Maybe it’s like fashion? You know-how Karl Lagerfeld is a famous designer in his own right but designs under the Chanel label?
To begin, it’s a great restaurant, you really have to respect the commitment to wine that leads someone to make their stairs look like wine barrels. And speaking of wine…we had the Kavaklıdere Viktor Levi Agandon with is a Kalecik Karasi-Shiraz blend. It’s a lovely purply red with a nose of forest and red berries and spice. In the mouth the medium tannins and slightly higher acid end with a long finish. The berries come through on the palate as do some cherries, possibly eucalyptus, and baking spices. I was not blown away but it was nice enough to warrant ordering a second bottle!
I would go back to Viktor Levi Şarapevi and try more of the wine with its confusing providence. Next time I’ll ask someone what the deal is and find out if Viktor Levi is to Kavaklıdere what Lagerfeld is to Chanel. I’ll also order another steak. The restaurant has a pretty extensive menu but seems to excel at steaks if the half dozen on the menu were any indication. I must say the one I had that came smothered in porcini mushrooms was glorious. Steak and good red wine; I don’t need much else!
Viktor Levi Şarapevi
Moda Caddesi Damacı Sokak 4