My husband and I stopped in for dinner last night, craving something a little out of the ordinary. Am I mistaken or has this place been renovated since it first opened? It doesn’t look as I recall. I’ve only gotten takeout from here one time many years ago so I’m not really counting that.
They are going for upscale with the atmosphere, which is nice, and they mostly succeed. The lighting is dim and they had pleasant music playing. They have cool mirrors on the wall and nice white linens on the tables. One area I’d love to see improved is getting rid of the ugly drop ceilings and putting in some nice lighting fixtures. I loved the large photos (presumably of Iran) on the walls.
The service is well meaning but a bit clunky here and there. I have the impression this is a family run place (correct me if I’m wrong) and everyone is very friendly. But if they are going for upscale they need to polish their service a bit. For example, leftovers should be taken away and bagged in the kitchen and silverware should be changed between courses.
Food was mostly very good. I have cooked Persian food myself but I haven’t really eaten it. I like the sour flavors of sumac and pomegranate and yogurt so this type of food is really up my alley. We got a fantastic dip like tzatiki made with thick, creamy, sour yogurt and cucumber and an eggplant dip with crispy fried onions on top to have with the fresh made large round pita-like bread (but thinner and crisper). The pickled vegetables also made for a nice snack.
The lamb kabob was fine, although I guess kabob has different meanings in different places-- I expected chunked meat and it was a long strip that was frankly way too gamey for my taste although cooked to my requested medium rare. Much more enjoyable was the fesenjan, a really sour sauce made with pomegranate and walnuts, served with ground meat and walnut mini-meatballs. With saffron rice, this dish was extremely enjoyable and is really unique. The barberry and pistachio rice we got with the lamb kabob was even better than the saffron rice, again with the sourness of the barberries and a nice crunchy earthiness from the pistachio and the same crunchy socarrat you’d find in a good paella.
Dessert was an excellent not-overly-sweet baklava and pistachio ice cream, though we were tempted by the menu’s self-proclaimed “best Napoleon cake in NY.”
Beer and wine only-- the slightly sour Belgian Leffe went well with the flavors of this meal.
We’d definitely go back though I’d avoid the lamb dishes in favor of other meat.