From Ajam MC: Another loss to the process of Manhattan sterilization: Taste of Persia NYC closes

26 Jan
Taste of Persia owner Saeed Pourkay. Photo: Nina Roberts

From Ajam MC (@AjamMC):

“If you’ve never tasted the ash reshteh from Saeed Pourkay’s pocket shop — a steam table operation lodged in the corner of a nondescript 18th Street pizza joint — run, don’t walk. Pourkay has said the restaurant-within-a-restaurant will remain open through January. Beyond then, he plans to return with a restaurant space all his own, but who knows what will happen.

“On a visit to Taste of Persia a few months back, the food was just as good as when Pourkay debuted at the Union Square Holiday Market back in 2012. I remember my bewildered delight at tasting his ash reshteh for the first time at that market. It was a dish I’d only eaten in the kitchens of Persian friends on Long Island, and it was nourishing and exciting to see outside someone’s home.

“Traditional Iranian cooking is layered, intricate, and labor-intensive: Pourkay’s ash reshteh involves five kinds of beans simmered to creamy compliance with two forms of caramelized onions (immersed in the stew, and fried as a topping), a tangle of herbs, broken splinters of noodles, and invigorating doses of cardamom and ginger. Pourkay’s fesenjan evokes home cooking no matter where you grew up: braised chicken, walnuts, and pomegranate molasses meld into a tangy, voluptuous gravy that could sustain you through the worst snowstorm or subway debacle. For $12, you get two homestyle dishes like these on a bed of rice packed into a plastic takeout container, which Pourkay anoints with a golden drizzle of saffron water.”


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