Tabriz Persian Cookhouse
Tabriz Persian Cookhouse is a traditional Persian food restaurant named after a city in Iran. You'll find Persian dishes such as koofteh and ghormeh sabzi or gheimeh beef stews here.
They're served with an elevated presentation and accompanied by wine, beer and spirits, thanks to the professional flair of owner Pegah Ziaei who came to this position from the corporate world.
It’s small and casual but just elegant enough in here, appropriate for lunch alone or a date alike, and there’s also free Wi-Fi.
The gem of the space is an outdoor patio for use in good weather, similarly small but peaceful and a great spot for people watching in Midtown.
Kashkeh bademjoon ($12) is a yummy Persian charred eggplant dip, almost like baba ghanouj and a garlicky hummus had a baby, but with walnuts and a cheesy-tasting Persian whey paste made from condensed yogurt protein, which borders dark green squares of fried mint.
It’s served with barbari bread for dipping.
Tahchin ($12) is like a baked saffron basmati rice loaf or bar with chicken and barberries inside.
The plate is drizzled with sour yogurt for dipping the crusty rice chunks into, and the loaf is topped with barberries, almond and pistachio. The koofteh is a house favourite if you want to go full-on Persian meat loaf.
Baghali polo ($22) actually refers to the dill and broad bean rice (topped with yellow saffron rice and barberries for colour) more than the protein in this dish, which is a lamb shank braised for hours in a sauce of onion, garlic and lamb stock also served on the side.
Faloodeh ($7) is a beloved Middle Eastern dessert of icy and sweet vermicelli with rose water, lime or pomegranate juice. For $2 top traditionally with saffron ice cream, which is more icy than creamy but does have that familiar comforting saffron flavour.
Cocktails were still being ironed out during our visit, but a tentative “Pomeroni” ($8.50) is a mixture of vodka, 7 Up, pomegranate juice and rose water that makes me think 7 Up should make a pomegranate rose water version.
Major points should be given for the great presentation of dishes that some may not have seen before in this area. On this stretch of Bay St. that seems to be just out of reach of the madness of downtown, a meal at Tabriz is just the ticket for a subtle feeling of transportation.