The pair of Iranian-born brothers behind the nearly 30-year-old Peacock Cafe in Georgetown will open a new restaurant tomorrow in Dupont Circle that they’re billing as D.C.’s first venue for modern Persian food.
At Vintage78 (2100 P Street NW) Maziar and Shahab Farivar want to use aromatic rice dishes and stews brimming with dried fruits, nuts, and citrus juices to introduce a large swath of diners to their way of eating back home.
“I call it Persian attitude,” says Maziar Farivar, the chef of the restaurants. “A lot of great aroma. A lot of great flavor.”
Farivar says he wants to use bold flavors to expand diners’ vocabulary. In other words, he wants them to know that pola refers to a basmati rice blend. Vintage78 will have at least three different versions, including the albaloo pola ba morgh — a sour cherry rice served with roasted chicken that’s been glazed in a reduced pomegranate sauce — and a green bean and saffron rice mix with a veal shank in a tomato braise standing in for the traditional beef.
Farivar wants people to recognize lughmeh as similar to tapas or meze. His small plates — think fava bean fritters wrapped in flatbread or beef and potato cutlets — will be served on Vintage78’s bar menu.
Khoresh, traditional Persian stews served with rice, will come in at least three different versions: lamb with yellow split peas, beef with sun-dried limes, and meatball fesenjoon made with walnuts and pomegranate juice. A softball-sized Azeri meatball stuffed with hard-boiled egg, walnuts, and barbari (sesame-topped flatbread) represents the Farivars’ native Azerbaijan region of Iran.