Food was another series of
 gastronomic explorations and
 discoveries—some of it circumscribed
by our individual inclinations.

first Istanbuli night at La Casa Nuestra small plates at La Casa Nuestra

Staying in Istanbul and Venice enticed us to think local.
In Istanbul, we urge Umit to recommend place to eat and La Casa Nuestra
was the culinary highlight of the trip, from my perspective.
The Eresin Crown Hotel’s breakfast menu was familiar enough
for the international tourists which is its clientele,
so a mix of world-wide and local was possible.
In Venice, our Bisanzio Hotel offered a full breakfast,
with little that strayed an American palate.
Lunch and dinner offered the best possibilities and we listened
to our concierge’s suggestions. Most of us wanted to eat local
but a few palates are not adventuresome. However, most local restaurants
had enough choice to satisfy both the tame and the adventurous palate. 


lunch at Pudding Shop, Istanbul


Venice: beef in squid ink with polenta

Eresin Hotel: the bread table, six tables to go

steamer lunch on Viking Sea


The safe place was the Viking Sea. Seven dining areas of various cuisines allowed one
to match mood and food, and there was a place for all. We enjoyed the
moderately upscale Italian Manfredi’s twice. Surprisingly, we enjoyed testing each
of the three menus of the Chef’s Table that included wine pairing for four of the courses.
The World Café, with its two lines of three arrays each offering a wide variety,
was our go-to eatery. Mamsen’s, on the Explorer Lounge, offered Norwegian delights;
the longer we stayed, the more we found ourselves nibbling there.
And the other venues filled out our choices. Too many details to bother detailing.
Suffice it to say, one did not have to eat local.

Viking crowd favorite - gelato, every meal

. .

breakfast line - yogurt and other light Mascarpone Passion, Venetian Chef's Table colorful plate from Mamsen's Norwegian

Wine was the same story again.
The wine drinkers want to drink local.
Viking’s offerings, free during meals,
are going to satisfy most wine palates
but I have heard that my palate
is not in the “most” category.

 Again, Viking’s offering are satisfactory,
for the most part. The wine group
—Tim, Ross, me—
would buy local and utilize
Viking’s no corkage policy.
In the end, Viking does what it has to do,
and I appreciate their efforts
to promote the wine “snobs” among us.

I kept note of what I tasted
at tours and dinners, and
almost fifty wines made my list
by journey's end.


tasting plate, for each, at Karaman cake, and winning Prosek, at Karaman

Four different wines I tasted: clockwise from above left--
a Turkish red, a Greek Macedonian red, a Montenegrin red, and
the international winner Prosek Malvasija