On the 15th day of the 30 day ethnic food challenge this labor of lunch leads to one of the oldest and richest cuisines that few know much about in these parts. Moby Dick on Huntington Avenue next to Symphony Hall is a counter service fine purveyor of the delicacies of Persia.
Right out of the gate, Mirza Ghassemi, from the north of Iran is a sort of souped-up baba ghanoush. Roasted eggplant and tomatoes meet garlic and tumeric and it is good. In this incarnation a shimmering hat of caramelized onions and onion oil ignite the popular Persian app. Crisp nan-e barbari flatbread and Maast-O-Khiar, (cucumber minty yogurt) is a cooling note gentler than raita, more subtle than tzazikki.
Today is the first time I have tasted the chicken, pomegranate and walnut stew of legend; Khoresht-e fesenjān (Persian: خورشت فسنجان) or just Fasenjān for short, and it is a dear diary experience. The superb earthy, nutty, and slightly tangy dish is what comfort is all about. A pomegranate paste made from scratch lends a deep flavor that resonates like a fruit molasses and gives this dish so much soul. Plated with basmatti rice that is slightly salty, it is exactly cooked by people who don’t need practice but love to work in the kitchen. Sweet lemonade spiked by a healthy dose of rosewater is the pairing for Fasenjān, a gustatory magic carpet ride.
Green salad with a house dressing that is yogurty tangy is of worthy note. The yogurt is house-made and has a perfect creamy texture and a pucker that is a soft kiss. There is also a hot sauce that you can ask for that has depth and means business. Sumac, the lemony spice accent is in a shaker on every table and that red dust is a must on any proper kabob. Chef Moti runs a tight ship and is on top of the details. The name Moby Dick is shared by a famous restaurant in Tehran, a special place for Moti. Feeding countless students from Northeastern and the surrounds for twenty years at this location, the Chef tells us proudly that Moby Dick is the oldest Persian Restaurant in the hub. Her kitchen talent is the kind you are born with and when you meet her you’ll feel you’ve made a friend. You will miss Moti.
Return for the national dish, Gormeh Sabzi which consists of sauteed herbs served over golden crisp basmati rice and lots more. Organic daily specials and a general wholesome yet vibrant menu with lots of choices plus a warm reception leave a lasting impression. Don’t miss the Persian ice cream, a.k.a. Bastani-e Akbar-Mashti. Two spoons and one Saffron frozen delight with slivers of green pistachios are a perfect finish to this intriguing and satisfying repast that furnishes a delicious happy memory. Moby Dick of Boston Persian Cuisine is cash only and priceless.
Learn Farsi: kheilee mamnoon (Thank you very much)
269 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115
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