Negeen Persian Grill - Summit, NJ
Just ate there for the first time last night, and we won't be going back. I can't claim to know Iranian food as this was my first time, but I DO know most other Middle-Eastern food, and this was the blandest I've ever had by far. I started with their Negeen's Soup (I always look for the "signature" dish that a restaurant puts their name on), which was described as a "combination of cilantro, rice, chicken and spices". It tasted like cilantro in a mild chicken stock, with no spices at all. I ordered the "Sabzi Polo", which is "Basmati rice mixed with different herbs and garlic, served with chicken breast or leg". The rice is loaded with herbs, but again no spice at all, and the chicken was basically tasteless, like they put it on a kabob and cooked it plain. My GF had the "Boneless Chicken Kabob" which was "Large juicy skewer chicken tender or breast marinated with saffron, lemon juice, and onions". It came with plain basmati rice (cooked with butter or ghee, unfortunately, if you're watching your health) and the chicken wasn't much tastier than mine, although you got a hint of lemon flavor. A soda costs you $2.50, and dinner for two (with one soup appetizer) cost $48.00. If this is what Persian food tastes like for real, I'm glad I live here. We won't be going back.
Three of us went to Negeen last night for the first time. One of our group is actually Persian - knows the food and speaks the language. He was looking forward to an enjoyable, authentic meal. We knew the restaurant was only a few months old, and that there were very few reviews (mixed reviews), so we figured we would give them a chance.
We were the only ones in there when we arrived shortly after 6:00PM, and service was fine. (Two more couples arrived during the time we were there.)
We ordered three appetizers. They were decent, and somewhat authentic (per our Persian foodie). (We realize it may be difficult to get all authentic persian ingredients in Northern NJ.)
We ordered two chicken and one filet mignon entree. They were supposed to be cornish hens, but they were too large. They were obviously just small chickens, and the breast meat was very dry, not very flavorful, and the dish was not at all authentic. One of us got rice, one got salad. The rice was OK, the salad was OK.
He got the filet mignon. It was a $17.95 entree - the menu called it a "Large portion of juicy marinated fillet mignon, skewered and charbroiled on an open fire to perfection". Actually, there was no way they could get a skewer through those three THIN, SMALL SLICES of some type of beef. It was served with rice and one-half of a grilled plum tomato as the vegetable. It was definitely NOT Filet Mignon. It was seasoned with something, but once again NOT authentic. It was overcooked, chewy, and a VERY small portion. (The portion size was irrelevant at this point, as it wasn't even finished it was so unappetizing.)
Desserts were OK as far as desserts go, but not authentic. Persian tea was made fresh (we were told), but it was too weak - they didn't allow it to steep long enough.
Sorry to say we would NOT go back - the food as a whole was just not good enough (forgetting the fact that it wasn't authentic) and definitely NOT worth the price.
Just returned from our first visit. The food merits returning. The service, is just something to be tolerated. They simply had too few servers. Most importantly, the bill was incorrect. We ordered three appetizers for 14.95 and they charged individually 5.95 each. Also, they included 18% gratuity in the bill with a line that says "18% gratuity included for parties over 5." There were four of us. I'm a cynic, so I assume they do this to everyone, and I warned those at the neighboring table.
Having said that, the food was tasty, though the meat portions were very slim. Best dishes were the appetizers: chicken and veges in yogurt, smoked eggplant in tomato, and hummus.
I'll go back, but I'll always check my bill.
I haven't been, but a co-worker has and he echoed comments made by someone on eG...between food and service, just not worth a second trip. I was bummed to hear that, as I thought it sounded interesting, but if others have had decent experiences, I'd be curious to hear about them!