Restaurant Shiraz is an enlightening treat

Restaurant Shiraz is an enlightening treat

Any time a round of good news circulates through or a birthday comes winding around, my family gives each other one look, and immediately, everyone knows where we will be eating out that night. For years now, Shiraz has been a delightful family constant, a treat that every member of my family looks forward to.

Located fifteen minutes down 28th street, Shiraz sits unassumingly adjacent to a tanning salon and a Wendy’s. The contrast between Shiraz and its surroundings is electrifying; while customers may at first be put off, this immediately dissipates upon entering the restaurant.

Everything about Shiraz screams elegance. Pure, unadulterated elegance. From the glistening, dark maroon walls to the velveteen curtains and traditional Persian table settings, customers are immediately surrounded by the sophisticated yet welcoming atmosphere meticulously fabricated by the staff.

While Shiraz specializes in all things Mediterranean, at heart, it’s a Persian restaurant, and this is wildly apparent in the menu. Its tour de force is the chicken and lamb kebabs offered, but these specialties are supported by a vast variety of options for all taste palettes and diets. Each time my family and I visit, however, we have an established order and are increasingly excited to receive it.

I’ve never been to the Arabic region of the world, but Shiraz seems remarkably authentic. Our normal appetizer order consists of perfectly toasted pita and two dipping sauces: a cucumber yogurt delight and a creamy eggplant blend. While normally, I’m not a fan of yogurt nor eggplant, I find myself tantalized by these appetizers exquisitely blended with cumin, cardamom, and a plethora of other iconic spices.

The appetizers, though, are nothing compared to the splendid dishes that follow. The presented mix of lamb and chicken kebabs, accompanied by fluffy infused rice and roasted vegetables, provides a unique experience for your taste buds. We’ve brought dozens of relatives and friends to Shiraz, and never have I met someone who hasn’t been fascinated by the work of art presented to him/her.

However, I think the highlight of the restaurant is the passion put into it. The owner, a quiet, older man, has poured hours of passion and time into the development and running of the restaurant. He’s very proud of his story but even prouder of its results. Once, he even personally came up to our table to tell my mother that he was personally brewing her tea because it wasn’t up to his high standards he wanted his restaurant to reflect. His attachment to his origins and enthusiasm for sharing it with the world is inspirational.

Not to mention, he’s just a really nice guy. This is mirrored by the rest of the service staff; I can imagine that it might be difficult to be both extremely professional yet genuinely friendly, yet every server has managed to excel at this.

Undoubtedly, Shiraz is expensive. An extensive meeting for four borders $200. It’s definitely not a restaurant I would go to for a fun afternoon with friends, but for special events, especially for my family in particular, the incredible food and experience makes it worth it.

It makes the special moments even more remarkable; a night at Shiraz reminds me that there are always things — no matter how large or small — to celebrate.