I was looking for a late night bite in Savannah after enjoying a great performance at the Historic Savannah Theatre. I was in a different mindset, my attitude was – When in Rome… take the fast track off the beaten path!
Instead of settling for a proverbial plate of Southern fare, I bypassed Paula Deen’s, The Lady and Sons and skipped down the street to Persepolis Lounge and Grill. Categorized as a Persian restaurant, I was pleasantly surprised by the warm greetings and quaint accommodations.
The restaurant extends its dining area to an upstairs balcony view where I retreated for a bit of intimacy with my dinner date. I found that after a certain hour, the downstairs bar converts into a pseudo-hookah lounge making it unnecessary to troll the streets of Savannah for a good time.
We settled in nicely with an order of two Sauvignon Blancs and a couple of selections from the menu including a Greek salad and Babaganesh. The salad was your typical Greek version of lettuce topped with cucumbers, onion, tomatoes, olives, feta cheese and their homemade house dressing. The Babaganesh was a pleasing mixture of smoked eggplant, sesame seed butter, garlic & EVOO, served with pita wedges.
Next we ordered a Shish Kabob Skewer of filet mignon wonderfully marinated and accompanied by an assortment of well-seasoned, grilled vegetables. We added an order of the Market Vegetable Kabob, a skewering of fresh mushroom, onion, sweet multi-colored peppers, zucchini and squash. Both dishes came with a choice of rice. They were not usual version of rice and here is where my interest was piqued.
We chose the Zereshk Polo, basmati rice mixed with barberries, almonds and saffron seasoning. I didn’t know what a barberry was, but I was game. It had a slightly tart appeal and was a new taste sensation for me. The combination was nice, giving the rice more complexity in taste.
We also ordered the Shirin Polo, which consisted of basmati rice mixed with sautéed dried orange peel, almond slices and saffron seasoning. I questioned how the orange peel would taste in rice and our very helpful server explained that it was a typical Iranian dish served at weddings or other festive occasions. All I had to do was hear some reference to “party” and I was all in. It was extremely delightful, I savored what was of a hint of orange marmalade flavoring against the nuttiness of the almonds. This rice is by far, my favorite. I have found a new delicacy.
Persepolis Lounge and Grill is a nice break from standard Southern cooking. It is an opportunity to elevate your dining experience and enjoy more unique flavors that the world has to offer. So when in Savannah, stop by, they are open Monday through Saturday for dinner.
Persepolis is located at 41 Whitaker Street, Phone: 212-443-0414, You can like them on Facebook, too!