Hi everyone—guest-blogger Katherine Curry again. Shiraz is the only Persian restaurant in Westchester—“only” doesn’t always go hand-in-hand with “good”, of course. Fortunately, Shiraz is quite good. The restaurant, which is on East Main Street in Elmsford, sits next door to Shiraz Market, which sells all sorts of Mediterranean ingredients, baked goods, spices, nuts, dried fruits and more.
My husband and I stopped at Shiraz before catching an early movie in Hawthorne. Here’s a look at my entree, the Cornish hen kabob, which came with saffron flavored rice.
The Cornish hen was meaty and expertly-grilled. My rice didn’t have any discernible saffron flavor, but it was much improved after I took our waiter’s suggestion to mix the grilled tomatoes in with the rice and then add a few sprinkles of dried sumac from the shaker on the table.
I didn’t get any pictures of the room on this visit—I felt a little too conspicuous with my camera, because the restaurant was empty when we arrived at 5:30. The decor is several steps above spartan—tiled floor, simple white tablecloths, mirrored walls, framed posters. Nothing fancy or particularly atmospheric. And very brightly-lit, at least the area where I was sitting— good for taking pictures of food, at least!
We started with freshly baked nan and sampled the mirza ghasemi, a dip made with mashed smoked eggplant, roasted garlic and tomatoes; and the maust-o-mooseir, a yogurt dip with Persian shallots.
You can bring your own wine to Shiraz—they don’t have a liquor license as of now. But my husband and I ordered the homemade doogh, which is a chilled yogurt drink seasoned with salt and dried mint.
I’ve never tried yogurt drinks like Indian lassi or Turkish kefir. When I was little, my mother used to tell me stories about how my grandfather liked to drink cold buttermilk on a hot day. I think my childish repulsion at that —“Ewww!” was my standard response—never really went away. Until now.
Doogh is delicious, refreshing, bracing, and—as our very nice waiter pointed out—good as a digestive aid, since it’s packed with probiotics.
A digestive aid is a good idea, because Shiraz serves ample portions. My husband got the filet mignon kabob with a small shirazi, or shepherd’s, salad. It came with some grilled tomatoes and onion.
The two of us had a tasty and affordable meal for about $50, not including tip.
No room for dessert this time. Choices include saffron-flavored ice cream, baklava, and the intriguing pallodeh, frozen rice noodles flavored with rosewater and served with cherry sauce and fresh lime.
If you go on the weekend, call ahead for a reservation—by 6:30 p.m. the dining room was full, and the owner was turning couples away.