Parsley, dill, cilantro, fenugreek and mint: Used in profusion, alone or in combination, they play the role of the vegetable rather than a garnish, adding their woodsy fragrance at every opportunity. Such was fate of the feathery greens that on a recent afternoon sat in front of Nasim Alikhani, the owner of Sofreh restaurant in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.
Tahdig goes beautifully with most everything else on the menu, including a perfectly tender, hulking lamb shank and a bowl of sweet, smoky, tart eggplant that’s been charred and then slow-cooked with garlic, onions, and tomato until silky. Yogurt abounds (blended with shallots and served with house-made bread, or layered with coins of roasted beet), as does rose water. In a saffron vesper, mixed with gin, vodka, and Lillet, it’s too intense—like taking a glug from a perfume bottle in your grandmother’s bathroom—but in desserts it’s more subtle, an intoxicating footnote. Both Alikhani and her refreshing faloodeh , a Persian sorbet made with vermicelli noodles frozen into a misshapen but satisfying lump and bathed in sweet lime juice, come up roses. (75 St. Marks Ave., Brooklyn. 646-340-0322. Entrées $19-$30.)
Clockwise from left: watermelon salad with whipped feta, fresh herbs, and arugula; the lamb shank, surrounded by fava beans and garlic and topped with fried onions; roasted beets and pistachios over house-made yogurt; herb rice, which comes crowned with a scoop of saffron rice.