In the late 1970s I found the most exotic restaurant in VA, Rose Restaurant - from Persia imagine!
At a recent chow lunch, the restaurant Rose was mentioned and a few comments created the motivation for Steve S and myself to revisit this little known gem in the heart of Falls Church at 300 W Broad St, Falls Church VA in the lobby of the Stratford Motor Lodge.
Though the menu features many kabobs, one goes to Rose to experience the homey comfort of well made Persian dishes outside the kebab box.
We began with appetizers of :
Dark Roasted Garlic Cloves in a slightly pungent almost balsamic tasting sauce, which we squeezed on to pieces of flat pita type breads/crackers. The expressed cloves were almost sweet with their own flavor and the sauce was a wonderful tart compliment to the sweet.
Pickles (Torshi) chopped pickles and some peppers in a variety of color and spice. A very attractive dish and most pleasant to Steve. I dont like pickles, but even I found the dish a nice refreshment and interesting texture.
Feta Cheese and Greens was a real treat. The cheese was especially fresh and moderately dry, served atop a bed of greens, (including basil, cilantro, flat parsley, dill, watercress, and mint no lettuce) with a side dressing of hot spicy o/v. I could make this into a perfect summer salad for lunch.
Having enjoyed the beginning so far we were served the special treat which has to be ordered about 4 hours ahead of time and not on the menu.
Ta Deg, the bottom crust of rice cooked in a pan. The crust presents as a crispy, savory, smokey, crunch. A real yummm that is hard to describe, but I am salivating just remembering. (sort of a really good home fried/crunchy-soft potato that grandma may have made, if grandma was Persian)
Side dishes included
Lima beans, dill and rice. I like rice and lima beans and love dill, and dill is a plenty in this lovely take on a side dish. All at once this rice is aromatic, satisfying, refreshing and most complimentary to the lamb shank main course with which it is served.
There was also a nice but less interesting serving of saffron (Im not sure it wanst cumin) rice.
Lamb Shank was falling off the bone having been braised into a bed of tiny lentils and topped with crisped straw potatoes. The flavors of this and the dilled rice stood alone and together at the same time, quite a treat.
Eggplant stew featured a pleasing mélange of eggplant, small bits of beef, and a tomato based sauce, also good with the dilled rice, and the saffron rice .
At this point and nearly two hours later there was no room for a desert, but we were presented with complimentary sweets of honey covered pretzels and more fresh tea in glass cups.
Rose may no longer strike me as exotic, but remains a delicious resource of home-style Persian food 25 years later.