The sweet crunchy pomegranate makes a lovely theme for a crisp fall evening out. We started out with pom kirs at our place (champagne with Pama pomegranate liqueur), followed by an impromptu espresso at Manic Cafe (see: http://yyzine.blogspot.com/2007/09/manic-mania.html) and dinner next door at Pomegranate, a restaurant accurately described on their website as a cozy, unpretentious spot for reasonably priced Persian specialties. What their description fails to convey, however, is how innovative and delicious the food is!
What impressed me most was the richness of the textures and flavors, aided by braising and the judicious use of herbs, dried fruits, nuts and pom syrup. For appetizers, we had the spinach borani ($3.75), a dip of sautéed spinach, garlic and creamy yogurt and zeitoon parvardeh ($2.95), a tapenade of green olives marinated in a pomegranate walnut sauce with a generous amount of fresh garlic, both served with toasted pita bread. We probably could have done fine with three entrees for four people, but when we couldn't narrow down our top 4 choices, we just ordered them all!
*Qeymeh ($10.95) a tomato-based tangy stew of yellow split peas, lamb chunks and dried lime topped with cinnamon
*Adas Polo ($8.50) lentils, dates and raisins blended into a saffron basmati rice topped with crispy onion, lamb shank and barberries (an important ingredient in Persian cooking - see: http://www.guardian.co.uk/weekend/story/0,3605,1512761,00.html)
*Morasa Polo ($14.95), slivers of seville orange peel, almond and pistachio with diced carrots and barberries blended in saffron basmati rice served with a braised lamb shank, creamy yogurt and salad.
*Fesenjaan ($13.95), a classic Persian stew of boneless chicken breast, ground walnut and pomegranate syrup.
An Australian Shiraz, picked from the reasonably priced wine list ($17-$40), was a perfect match.
420 College Street