Well, that’s where we met Mustafa. There was a really lovely terrace on the top of the hotel, where you could look at the beautiful countryside (which felt a little like Tuscany), have a cold beverage and get dinner. This was Mustafa’s territory. Mustafa is the head chef at the terrace restaurant and, in my fantasies, secretly a classically trained chef, with all the makings of brilliant career, but never made it out of Selcuk because of some tragic story. That, or he’s just a guy from a small town who likes his drinks and happens to be good at cooking. I think I’ll go with the former.
But did I tell you about the food? Mustafa narrowed in on us early on when we were having a little pre-dinner apero. He came and chatted us up, told us off all the offerings from the kitchen, showed us his mise en place, gave us a sampling of the beautiful fresh tomatoes that seem to be ubiquitous in this country and, of course, convinced us to have dinner there – Chef’s menu.
So eat there we certainly did. It was awesome. Mezes - Turkish vegetable dishes eaten at the beginning of the meal - then a variety of meat filled us up. After the sun set and about half way through the meal, the lights went out in the city and we ate by candle and moonlight.
So before we even had the chance to see any ruins, the Turkish table came alive to us, courtesy of a guy (and great chef) named Mustafa.