New Persian restaurant in Morristown
A couple of weeks ago I noticed the sign for a persian restaurant on Speedwell Ave. Well, since I was going to the movies in Headquarters Plaza, I decided to give it a try. My first impressions were quite favorable. Since I know nothing about Persian cuisine, I asked for help. I was a little put off when I was steered towards some mainstream middle eastern favorites - stuffed grape leaves, hummus and kebabs, but I persisted. I ended up trying the herb frittata - a very green wedge that was aromatic and tasty, served with some awesome pickled red cabbage. For my entree I had a stew of eggplant, beef, lentils and tomato served with basmati rice. It was very good. The dried lemon in the stew was a first and caught me off guard. There was a young server who was obviously unfamiliar with the cuisine, but there was also a couple, whom I presumed to be the owners, taking good care of the diners. I want to go back and try a few more dishes. It is BYOB and my bill was only $21. Not much seafood, but plenty of vegetarian options.
Marjan Persian Grill, 84 Speedwell Ave, Morristown, NJ - Across from the Hyatt.
OK. So maybe it's not so new anymore, but I was back again last night after a movie in Headquarters Plaza and Marjan continues to impress me. Since it was so cold, I decided to try soup and the lovely hostess helped me choose. It was mushroom barley but unlike anything I have ever tasted - delicious. For my main course, I had the kebab a kubideh two large skewers of minced lamb/beef seasoned and then grilled served with rice. Though not included, the hostess came back with a small dish of garlicky yogurt which she recommended I try with the kebab, again outstanding. This place is a gem. BYO
Went back tonight for a second try. I ordered the dolmeh (Stuffed grape leaves) and the lamb kebabs. Dolmeh were very good. In this version the rice was almost creamy - though this may have been a function of the microwave -) : The taste was very similar to other middle-Eastern varieties. The lamb kebabs were abundant - 7 good sized chunks - and very tasty, but, unfortunately, somewhat tough. It might not be the thing to order. Despite the kinks, I hope they make it.
That makes four Persian restaurants I know of in New Jersey: Negeen (Summit), Honey (Teaneck), Narenj (Basking Ridge), and now Marjan. Others? Any comparisons?
Negeen Persian Grill
330 Springfield Ave, Summit, NJ 07901
Honey Mediterranean Gourmet & Market
1150 Teaneck Rd, Teaneck, NJ 07666
A couple of weeks ago I was in the Basking Ridge area and noticed a Persian restaurant called Narenj. It's in the same mall as Origin Thai. I have not been, nor have I been to Marjan, but I will definitely try one or both of these restaurants in the near future.