Wine lovers rejoice! On March 6, popular Persian-Mediterranean restaurant Shiraz Kitchen opened a wine bar adjacent to its dining space, and it’s got the makings of a relaxed, delectable, and fun evening out.
“We have 105 labels and six very delicious signature drinks,” says owner Reza Parhizkaran. “We have so many good appetizers, or meze, which are unknown.” Parhizkaran, who transformed part of the food market next to Shiraz into the wine bar, says that patrons of a French or Italian restaurant know what to expect at those types of establishments. “When you come to me…you think everything is kebab. Actually everything is not,” he says, mentioning mast-o-bademjoon, a dish of eggplant topped with thick, spiced yogurt and seasonings. “It’s so good. You die for it.”
Parhizkaran developed his palate growing up with a mother whom he calls a “lovely cook,” but found that developing the wine-bar menu required “trial and error.” He says Persian food is closer to Greek or Turkish cuisine, despite Iran’s location in the Middle East, and that the food is simple and not overly spiced so the flavors come through.
And they do at Shiraz. I tasted not-too-briny dolmades (stuffed grape leaves); mirzaghasemi, an eggplant dip redolent of garlic and onion, flavored with turmeric; mast kahir, a tangy homemade yogurt with shallot, cucumber, rose petals, and powdered mint; savory meat kabobs; and falafel with a tahini sauce brightened with lemon. Plump, organic dates stuffed with walnuts and slices of French feta made a solid accompaniment to a glass of wine.
Since taking over the restaurant in 2015, Parhizkaran also renovated the dining and party spaces. He added variety to the dinner menu and increased the appetizers on the restaurant menu before opening the wine bar. Shiraz Kitchen & Wine Bar is the only wine bar in the Elmsford area and only one of two Persian restaurants in the county.
White subway tile, mid-century modern furniture, and a color scheme of grey, blue, and camel offer a contemporary-chic vibe. Parhizkaran wants patrons to explore different wines, so he plans to offer a rotating selection of more expensive bottles by the glass for $18-20. “When you come to [Shiraz], you have a reason to have good appetizers, good eats,” says Parhizkaran. “Now we combine [the experience with wine], so you can have it all together.”
Shiraz Kitchen & Wine Bar
83 E Main St, Elmsford
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