Herby is a Persian restaurant specializing in food from northwestern Iran.
With a menu of eats that are specific to the Azeri-speaking Iranian province of East Azerbaijan, the restaurant is filled with Iranian blue pottery and photographs taken by Zehdifar’s son-in-law, including of his niece in said rose fields.
Zehdifar isn’t a professionally trained chef—all his recipes are passed down from his mother and grandma—but he’s definitely a purist when it comes to his ingredients. He imports roses from Herbi for his tea, served with organic brown sugar.
For several years, Zehdifar owned ran a small takeout spot called Tah Deeg by Yonge and Finch before closing up shop in 2017 to pursue something a little more upscale, with Persian brunch on weekends that includes trays of eggs, mashed dates, and feta cheese.
“It was always my vision to make my new place as a combination food, art, and culture,” he says.
If you’ve ever been to a Persian restaurant, you might know some of the dishes by their Farsi names rather than the Azeri translations, though some recipes are specific to Tabriz.
The kashk e bademjan ($9.50) is a delicious oven-roasted eggplant mixture with walnuts, fried onion, yogurt sauce, and a mint oil.
You should definitely get this with a portion of Barbari flatbread via Salamat Bakery.
All the meat is juicy and tender here. Chicken tava kebab ($19.99) is oven-roasted chicken breast served in a tava, or a pan, with grilled veggies and rice served on the side.
A veal and beef version is served in the tava as a whole, circular piece, and is equally delicious.
A koobideh sandwich is the sub of my dreams, with a whole skewer of juicy minced beef kebab inside and assembled with pickled cucumbers on a sesame seed bun.
Incredibly popular in Azerbaijan, Iran, is Piti ($22.95), which is sometimes referred to as abgoosht.
Served in a clay piti, this lamb leg and chickpea stew requires a bit of manual mashing with a mallet. You can pour out the stew to drink separately from the meat, though ultimately you can eat this dish however you like.
A rose water drink called Shovaran with organic teff flour at the bottom is delicious year-round, but especially used in summertime to cool down.