Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Anatolia Turkish Restaurant in Nashville
Ever since our good friends, the McQueens, moved to Turkey, I've been a little obsessed with all things Turkish. Despite my love for ethnic food, I'd never been to a Turkish restaurant. So when the 34th birthday arrived, I chose Anatolia Turkish Restaurant in a quiet part of Nashville for our night out without children.
I had studied the menu before we came and knew I wanted to try the Anatolia Eggplant from their "Classical Turkish Home Cooking" section of the menu. At $15.95, the eggplant half is roasted to a silky texture and brimming with cubes of lamb, tomatoes and bell peppers. It might not look very pretty, but I ate the entire thing up to the woody stem tip. It was that melt-in-my-mouth tender. Joe ordered kabob of some sort, but ate it too quickly for me to remember the details. Sorry about that. I was really fixated on my own eggplant deliciousness.
Soft spotlights, Turkish wines, rugs and pottery decorate the walls. The ambiance was quiet, but friendly, with lots of what seemed to be Turkish accents coming from the servers, all of whom were friendly and unobtrusive.
And for dessert, we ordered kunefe-- a warm, crisp nest of pastry over chewy unsalted goat cheese oozing with sticky rose water syrup. Think baklava meets pizza and turn it upside down. The dessert paired perfectly with the clean flavor of hot Turkish Tea. Joe enjoyed sticking his pinky out as he sipped the very manly Turkish coffee out of a very girly demitasse.
Months ago, my cousin Amy was dreaming about Kunefe, the dessert her friends raved about, which she had never sampled. I'm going to have to figure out how to make it. The difficulty will be finding shredded filo twigs that form the top crust... I think mozzerella would serve in for the goat cheese and I could get rose water the next time I pass through Champaign on my way to Chicago. Now I'm dreaming about it too.