To its devotees, Turkish cooking is the tastiest in the land — Middle Eastern and Central Asian foodstuffs fused at the crossroads of the world into a robust yet refined cuisine brimming with spice and zest. At Zatis, a handsome brick-and-blond wood Piedmont eatery, owner Zati Uysal brings a fresh, light California approach to traditional Turkish dining, and the results are impressive. Tender, juicy meats and seafood, fresh produce, and house-made extra virgin olive oil star in house specialties like spinach-stuffed filo turnovers; rich, earthy zucchini cakes; grilled calamari with capers and arugula; a hearty, creamy-textured eggplant-tomato-artichoke casserole; spiced-meat dumplings with a minty yogurt sauce; exceptionally tender and smoky lamb shish kebab with a buttery rice pilaf. The dessert menu includes a creamy rosewater-scented rice pudding, flaky, buttery walnut baklava à la mode, and a rich crème caramel with a jazzy undertone of Turkish coffee. The wine list features selections from Turkey's Kavaklidere Vineyards, and a tiny cup of the aforementioned coffee — thick, syrupy jet-black caffeine served grounds and all with plenty of sugar — makes a marvelous digestif.
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