Bozcaada, a rare Turkish island in the Aegean Sea

Photo: Bozcaada, Turkey. Credit: Lisa Borre.
This small cafe on the Bozcaada waterfront is under the same ownership of Tenedos restaurant where we enjoyed delicious food and sampled the local wine. Photo by Lisa Borre.

Logbook Entry

Dates: 5/2/2010
Distance: 55 nm
Sailed from: Ayvali, Turkey
Lat: 39°50.2’N
Long: 26°04.5’E

Bozcaada is one of two inhabited Turkish Islands in the Aegean Sea — the rest belong to Greece. We found plenty of space to berth on the town quay beneath the walls of the well-maintained Genoese castle and ended up next to the same French yacht as in Ayvalik. We asked the harbormaster for a restaurant recommendation, and he suggested Tenedos, a fish restaurant on the other side of the harbor.

It was 9:00 p.m. before we set out to find the restaurant tucked in amidst a number of others near the small boat harbor. We were greeted by Kenan, the owner, who showed us their selection of mezes and fish. Rather than ordering from the menu, he offered us a customized meal which included a mixed plate of mezes, a green salad and fish soup to share. He then suggested a local wine to go with the meal, and said to David, “Trust me, I will take care of you.” This is just what he needed to hear on an island famous for its wine, and we took a table overlooking the harbor outdoors. After the first sip of the sophisticated red (a cabernet sauvignon) — a rarity in Turkey — we knew we were in good hands.

The plate of mezes included two that looked like marinated spinach but were made from plants native to the island. The salad was loaded with fresh herbs, and the fish soup was like nothing we have had before. The whole sea bass was served in a white, rectangular baking dish surrounded by sliced onions, carrots and potatoes in a light puree made from the soup stock and vegetables. The entire meal was delicious, and our host made the evening very special, inviting us for breakfast at their smaller cafe/bike rental shop the next morning.

Since Lisa is trying to learn how to make Turkish-style eggs and sausage, we delayed our departure and were treated to another wonderful meal which included their homemade hibiscus lemonade. We promised to return in September on our way back to Marmaris so we can tour the island’s vineyards and sample more of its wines, but at the moment, we are anxious to take advantage of a good weather window for the passage up the Dardanelles to Canakkale.