November 15, 2007
Anatolian Table set in Rocklin

To Turks, it's pide. To Italians and Americans, it's pizza. Pizza is all over the Sacramento landscape these days. Pide, not so much. That's changed with the opening of Anatolian Table Restaurant in Rocklin, where I stopped in for lunch today and where I couldn't pass up the "kusbasi pide" ($8.95).

The menu described it as "chunks of tender lamb meat mixed with spices on crusted dough." What I got was a long boat-shaped vessel of baked bread with deftly rolled up edges. The small chunks of lamb were tender, all right, as well as sweet and mildly seasoned. Also crowding the boat were cauliflower, broccoli, red pepper, squash, onion and mushrooms. On the side was a zestly seasoned salad partitioned into three segments - shredded greens and sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, slivers of salty red onion, and crunchy red cabbage. Diners are greeted with a plate of hot rustic bread and a gentle hummus glistening with an exceptional olive oil. Be forwarned that the black olive in the middle of the hummus hasn't had its pit removed.

Anatolian Table Restaurant is bright and casual, with service that while a bit slow in my case was cordial and proud. A couple of surprise touches: The classy metal tray on which individual glasses of dark Turkish tea are served, and the decorative box with hinged lid in which the bill is delivered.

The menu is extensive and varied, with several fish and poultry selections in addition to lamb kebabs in numerous arrangements. Anatolian bills itself as patisserie as well as restaurant; trays of traditional Turkish pastries in and on a display case along the exhibition kitchen emphasize that point.

Anatolian refers to a peninsula of Turkey. The restaurant opened six weeks ago, and its grand opening is to be this weekend. It's in Blue Oaks Marketplace at 6815 Lonetree Blvd.; (916) 772-3020.

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