When Maksut Aşkar, the prominent chef-owner of the fine-dining restaurant Neolokal, and the Anatolian wine guru Levon Bağış united forces to realize their lifelong dream in 2019, we were all ears! The intimate wine bistro they opened in SuB Karakoy Hotel instantly scored with the culinary enthusiasts of Istanbul with its unusual pairings of natural local wines with creative dishes reinterpreting endangered culinary delights of Anatolia like lakerda (pickled bonito) or topik (the ever-popular Armenian dish made of a potato and chickpea shell filled in with a paste of onions, currants, pine nuts, and tahini).
Foxy has resonated well with a wine-loving, lighthearted clientele, which led to the opening of a second branch in the fashionable neighborhood of Nişantaşı. The name of the place, Foxy, is also quite telling of the culinary philosophy of the owners. They seem to have embraced the term that is used to describe a fur-like strong smell -something regarded as imperfection in a wine. That makes Foxy Istanbul one of those truly authentic places, where you could savor Turkish wine in all its “imperfection” and glory.
If you like whites, Narince would be a wonderful choice with its high acidity to accompany light dishes and seafood. Öküzgözü and Kalecik Karası are two other noble red varieties of Anatolia, which local producers have elevated to perfection in decades. If you would like to be more playful, go for an orange / natural wine from the list, or a local sparkling wine.
Hint: Remember that Foxy Nisantasi is quite central and popular, and you might need to make a reservation a few days prior to your visit to secure a good table at the alfresco section of the bistro for some people watching. To sample the best of the simple but balanced menu, order several appetizers to share with friends and family.