Friday, June 18, 2010

Feasting at Anatolia

A few weeks ago, a friend and I set out to find Anatolia a relatively new Mediterranean restaurant in Restaurant Row. We were going for lunch, but were planning a big meal.

Anatolia beautifully combines Turkish and Lebanese cuisine, think falafel and kababs. Appetizers tend to lean more towards Lebanese with entrees more Turkish. After looking at the menu, we decided to make a meal of appetizers. So we opted for the cold appetizer platter, your choice of 5 apps for $21. Not a bad deal!
As soon as I saw the dolmas on the menu, they were as good as ordered. I love stuffed grape leaves. If I could, I'd eat them every day. They are tricky though, sometimes they can get kind of dry, particularly because most people don't want to eat food slathered in oil. These were just delicious though, there was a subtle taste of lemon and mint, and the texture was perfect.
Also in our platter, Hummus, Imam Bayildi, (eggplant, bell peppers, tomatoes, onions all sauteed together, served cold), Haydari (a yogurt dip with dill, cucumbers and walnuts) and a feta cheese plate.

Everything was good, but what I enjoyed most (other than the grape leaves) were the Haydari and the fried eggplant salad. Generally speaking, I'm not a fan of eggplant. This however may have made me a believer, the texture was slightly firm and it blended really well with the other vegetables.

I did mention we were feasting, right? So on top of this platter of deliciousness, we ordered 2 hot appetizers, a falafel plate and a dish called Mucver, described as zucchini pancakes. Being a huge fan of both fried zucchini and potato pancakes, I couldn't wait to try it.

This was by far, my most favorite dish. Yes, even more than the stuffed grape leaves and fresh (SUPER FRESH) falafel. Holy smokes! It's like a low-carb latka! Granted... I don't know just how 'low carb' it is, but I'm going to try to find a recipe and try it out myself. The zucchini was shredded and somewhat creamy, the outside of the patty was golden crisp. It was awesome!

Overall I had a great time at Anatolia, and though we freaked out the server a bit (the amount of food we ordered for lunch actually made her gasp), I can't wait to return and try out an entree (or two).

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