Yes Virginia you can have a good meal in Sultanahmet.
It could have been terrible. We had spent the day exploring, walking, taking ferries and we were all really tired. and hungry. and in Sultanhamet, a known wasteland for good food in Istanbul. No one wanted to walk more than 100 meters from our cozy hotel. I scoured my research, lists, apps no one had anything good to say about anything nearby. Finally I spotted a recommendation for a fish spot in the hotel restaurant picks. Expectations low, off we went to Balıkçı Sabahattin.
In an wooden Ottoman house with white tablecloths, bright lights and tables of English speaking tourists we were sure this going to be an expensive mediocre disaster. Thankfully that is not how it turned out at all.
The tourists left, plates of yogurt topped garlicky grilled peppers and pickled seaweed and spicy red pepper paste appeared with glasses of cold beer and fresh bread.
The boys ordered a sole, which came fried and was outstanding.
After the very reasonable bill was requested a plate of sweet, syrupy dates and chewy Turkish ice cream was presented with the words this is a present.
It turned out to not be terrible at all.