We went to Zatis on a Thursday evening in May 2004, with no expectations whatsoever. We'd never heard about the restaurant, but we'd found ourselves with a babysitter for the night and headed to Piedmont Avenue in search of a place to eat. Zatis looked good enough from the car and it adjoined a public lot where we could find parking.
We found out that Zatis is a very nice neighborhood bistro offering Mediterranean food. The owners are Turkish - and you can find beautiful pictures of their children and other relatives in the back of the room near the parking lot - but the menu transcends Anatolian cooking (though we'd certainly appreciate a Turkish restaurant in the area). It includes pastas and kebabs, crepes and dishes that bring Greece and Turkey to mind. I liked that all dishes from the same category were priced the same (all appetizers are $7.50, pastas $12, entrees $14.50) - it would make splitting a bill much easier. I thought the prices were very reasonable given both the ambiance and the quality of the food.
The little restaurant is quite pleasant. Its main feature is a small open kitchen next to a bar area. There is a small dining room in front of the kitchen, another on the back, and there are tables alongside it. The place has a sleek, yet casual look. It's the kind of restaurant where you could bring anyone for any occasion.
We weren't very hungry that evening so we skipped appetizers and went directly to the entrees. Mike decided on the "Seafood crepe of scallops, shrimp and smoked salmon". It came with a delicious sauce that he still raves about. The whole dish was very good and he was very happy with it.
I had the "Mixed grill of skewered lamb kabob and Cajun smoked sausage", which also included beef slices in a chimichurri-like sauce, mashed potatoes and asparagus. I was also very happy. All the meat tasted exactly like it should and I found the sauce refreshing. The mashed potatoes were just fine, and Mike thought the asparagus were very good (and he is not usually an asparagus afficionado). Neither dish was very large, so you may want to order an appetizer if you are really hungry, but they were fine for us.
For dessert we decided to share the "Gran's Old Fashioned Rum Cake with vanilla ice cream" ($5.25). This is not the type of dessert we usually order but I guess we were in the mood for something different. We both really liked it. The cake was very moist and went well with the ice cream.
Service was very good. The head waiter was very friendly and helped to make us feel like this was our neighborhood restaurant. On the one sour note of the evening, however, the bill was added wrongly so that it came out to about $5 more than it should have. The waiter quickly corrected the mistake when we mentioned it to him, but it dampened what would otherwise have been a wonderful dining experience. Even then, I have to say that we had a very good time and we'll certainly be going back to Zatis.
4029 Piedmont Ave
M-Sa 11am - 3 pm, 530pm - 10pm
Su 530pm - 10pm