When the devastating earthquake hit Turkey last month, restaurateur Dino Tekdemir set to work immediately to launch a GoFundMe, and to donate 40 percent of proceeds from sales at his Anatolian Kitchen in Palo Alto on Feb. 16 to the victims of the disaster.
Born and raised in Turkey, Tekdemir, also owns the Austrian cuisine Naschmarkt restaurants in Campbell and Palo Alto.
With the people of Turkey still prominent on our minds, two friends and I took advantage of a brief respite from the savage rainstorms of late to dine outside at Anatolian Kitchen last week. With outside tables that spill onto the sidewalk and into the street that’s still closed to cars since the pandemic, it makes for a fine place to have a gal-pal lunch.
A must-order is the mix appetizer platter ($29.95) that’s perfect for sharing and noshing. It’s an assortment of cacik, a tzatziki-like yogurt-cucumber-garlic dip; a thick, coarse hummus; moderately spicy muhammara made with walnuts ground with roasted bell peppers and a touch of pomegranate molasses; smoky eggplant puree; skinny dolmas rolled around rice pilaf with currants and pine nuts; and my favorite of fried eggplant chunks in a saucy mix of tomatoes, garlic, and bell peppers.
Parker was the chef at Manresa Bread’s Campbell location when it first opened, which is where I first met him. The plan was for him to become the head chef at sister business, Mentone, when it was to open in Aptos.
But the pandemic had different ideas, delaying the debut of the pizza-centric Mentone, and leaving Parker to contemplate what the near future held.
Few things satisfy in winter like a bountiful bowl of ramen. If you’re still primarily dining outdoors, you’ll be glad to know that Momosan, which opened at San Jose’s Santana Row last year, is equipped with patio dining to enjoy your noodles al fresco.
“Iron Chef” Masaharu Morimoto’s new restaurant is the perfect place to people-watch on the Row as you slurp your noodles. The outside tables at the side of the restaurant sport compact awnings, enough to shield you from light rain, but probably not ample enough in anything heavier. The tables also have overhead heaters and free-standing ones to keep things fairly comfortable even when the wind picks up.
Given this ramen joint’s celebrity panache, it’s no surprise that prices here are on the higher side with ramen bowls going for $18 to $29. In comparison, Ramen Nagi’s bowls start at about $15. Still, there’s no denying that the ramen, and rest of the food here, is superlative.
The former general manager of Arka in Sunnyvale and operations manager at Sakoon in Mountain View, Agnel explains that he wanted to attract diners not only craving modern Indian cuisine, but ones who desired an elegant, upscale experience overall — no matter the food’s provenance.
To that end, he hired Mumbai-born Chef Prakash Singh to take regional Indian specialties and make them his own. Agnel also designed the extensive beverage program that includes the Peg Gastropub Bar inside the restaurant that sports a revolving 12 microbrewery selections on tap. A daily Happy Hour, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., features specially priced beers and cocktails.
The bar also boasts a sizeable selection of Japanese whiskies, tequila, and mezcal, not to mention a wine list that includes a 2018 Joseph Phelps Insignia for $450 and a 2018 Hundred Acre Napa Cabernet Sauvignon for $650 for big spenders.