I travel OTP (outside the perimeter) about as often as I drink vodka, which only happens when somebody tricks me into it. That happened recently when my father tricked me into going OTP for my brother’s birthday dinner at Rumi’s Kitchen on Roswell Road.
This go-to restaurant for Atlanta’s Iranian community moved a few blocks, from its former cramped space, to a beautiful newly designed space a year or two ago. Since it was my brother’s birthday, and my dad was paying for dinner, we were able to order a plethora of dishes, including dessert, which is a rarity amongst my gluten free family.
From the lengthy appetizer menu, we started with Mirza Ghasemi, a smoked eggplant, tomato, garlic dish akin to Babaganush, the Shirazi Salad of tomato, Persian cucumber, onion, parsley and lemon vinaigrette, and a classic hummus, all served with a tasty home-made flat-bread and a plate of green olives, walnuts, cheese and fresh herds. These were perfect starters – all good. The smoked eggplant was incredibly delicious, and I am pretty sure my 94 year-old grandmother ate all of it.
For main courses we had Shrimp Kabob (wood grilled shrimp, saffron, and almond orange zest basmati rice), Lamb Rack (really lamb chops with saffron, rosemary, garlic, lentil & raisin basmati rice) Chicken Barg (saffron marinated chicken breast with saffron basmati rice), and the birthday boy had the Soltani Kabob, which consisted of both a tenderloin steak kabob and a Persian seasoned ground beef beef kabob, with saffron basmati rice.
Each of these dishes was wonderful, but the Shrimp Kabob (as predicted by my father) was the table favorite. The 6 shrimps were huge, plump and grilled in a wood oven to a slightly charred perfection. They were served with an amazing basmati rice, sweetened with orange zest, dried cranberries and almonds.
To top it off there was a whole tomato that must have been roasted with the shrimp. These shrimps brought a smile to the face of each person as they tried them. For dessert we shared the Baklava and Persian Ice Cream Sandwich.
The Baklava was as good as any I’ve had in Atlanta and even though the Ice Cream Sandwhich, consisting of a vanilla ice cream seasoned with safffron rose water between two vanilla wafers, seemed bland to me, Granny snarfed it down as a fitting end to a wonderful family meal.