The Art of Food: Spotlight on a Local Favorite

Mediterranean Dining: Taste of Turkey in Cleveland Heights

by Joy Whitlow
 

When searching for the "nihai yemek deneyimi"—the ultimate dining experience—look no further than Anatolia Café (http://www.anatoliacafe.com). Winner of the Turkish Table’s 2011 Best Restaurant Award, this cozy but not tiny local favorite, located at 2270 Lee Road, in Cleveland Heights, is just steps away from other go-tos, including The Stone Oven (http://www.stone-oven.com) and The Wine Spot (http://thewinespotonline.com). Since opening its doors in 2007, on sunny days, Anatolia’s large windows allow loads of natural light to pour in from outside. During warmer months, the restaurant’s patio facing Lee sets the scene for people watching and conversation.

Inside the restaurant, a light lull of sensuous tunes plays in the background and draws you into the beautiful décor and amazing aromas. Yunus Yildirim, one of two brothers who own Anatolia, is very well versed, on more than just the cuisine at Anatolia; he wants you to have an actual experience, to be transported to another place for just a moment with each savory dish that touches your taste buds.  

Last night, while dining at the custom-made copper-topped bar, I started off with a nice crisp glass of Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc (check out this amazing sauvignon blanc here:  http://www.kimcrawfordwines.com/us/products/sauvignon-blanc/).

This exuberant wine brimmed with citrus and tropical fruits and was immediately paired with my first hors-d'oeuvre, Sigara Boregi, a beautifully blended combination of pastry dough filled with feta cheese and French herbs. The dish was also served with a deep-fried falafel and a side of garlic tahini dressing.  

 Sigara Boregi

Sigara Boregi

The Sigara Boregi was immediately followed up with Zucchini Cakes, made from a blend of fresh zucchini, carrots, and feta personally prepared for me by Yunus himself.  

The previous courses were a delightful evolution into the main entree: Grilled Salmon, Rice, and Red Cabbage Slaw. The salmon was mildly flavored yet refreshing! The pairing of the rice and slaw only added to the essence of this dish. I may be a bit biased but the Cabbage Slaw is honestly what assembles this dish into its greatness. The fresh, crispness of the cabbage, the light hints of pepper, and the overall uniqueness of the flavor burst in your mouth. As a long-time Anatolia patron, I truly enjoy the consistency with which the chefs approach their preparation and presentation. Before I could finish the last delightful morsel, the bartender ever so graciously topped off my Sauvignon Blanc to culminate my experience. Needless to say, I was in sheer bliss.  

 Grilled Salmon, Rice, Red Cabbage Slaw

Grilled Salmon, Rice, Red Cabbage Slaw

If a warm, inviting environment with amazing cuisine is what you’re looking for, come to Anatolia Café. This restaurant will surely be one of the top fine dining experiences in Cleveland Heights for years to come.

 Chicken, Rice, Red Cabbage, and an IPA

Chicken, Rice, Red Cabbage, and an IPA

To learn more about the menus, dining hours, venues, and history, visit Anatolia Café online at: http://www.anatoliacafe.com/

 Joy Whitlow. Food, drink, and adventure blogger. Photo copyright 2018 Joy Whitlow.

Joy Whitlow. Food, drink, and adventure blogger. Photo copyright 2018 Joy Whitlow.

Joy Whitlow is a Cleveland-born-and-raised foodie who loves anything and everything involving food, beer, and wine. Joy claims, “I have never been the best cook, but I have a knack for pointing people to the best restaurants and microbreweries.” Dining out, food, travel, and food photography happen to be some of her favorite pastimes. Her goal is to travel the world, eat amazing food, take beautiful pictures of it, pour up a good cocktail, and write about it. Readers may follow Joy on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/diningwithjoyw/ for upcoming food, drink, restaurant reviews, and more! You may also contact Joy at: diningwithjoyw@gmail.com. This is her debut review of a local CLE restaurant for clevelandedits.com.

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