Milady and I do not dine out often, so when we do, we like to make it count.
In bygone years, one of our favorite eateries was a place called Saffron’s, but we have not eaten there in years, mainly due to the fact that we rarely get to go downtown. The proprietor, Majid Ghavami, has opened up a new restaurant in Chenoweth Square, a stone’s throw from Seafood Connection, another favorite of ours. He is obviously a modest fellow, for he has named this restaurant after… himself.
The restaurant is divided into two areas; a small, quiet dining room, and a larger, more boisterous area with a bar. When we arrived, the place was fairly quiet, so we were somewhat alarmed when our hostess led us to the bar area. Our dismay was short-lived; she led us to a table in an elevated area at the back, which gave us a commanding view of lesser mortals and was more than satisfactory. The music was perfect, and the environment convivial without being noisy.
Moments later our waiter appeared. His name was Brian. He bought us some bread with an indolently rich blue-cheese dip which was irresistible and took our order. When he bought our starter — escargots (Milady’s favorite) — he bought us some more bread and dip. It was dangerously easy to find yourself sated before the main event rolled around.
And roll around it did; our entrees arrived pleasantly quickly, but not suspiciously so. Milady had ordered the Seafood Stew; fish, scallops and huge shrimp that were, in her words, “cooked to perfection”. Though it was a little spicier than we had been expecting, it was still highly enjoyable. I had ordered the Lamb Shank, a staple favorite at Saffron’s, but boy, was I surprised when it arrived — this thing was massive — as big as every Saffron’s Lamb shank I had eaten all put together, I said, only half-jokingly. Apparently they sourced their lamb locally, and this was one of the better ones that they could not always obtain; apparently we had been lucky. It was, to put it bluntly, simply glorious.
While we were eating, the eponymous Majid, who had been “working the room”, happened by our table. He greeted us warmly, and remembered us from our days at Saffron’s. The ever-solicitous but never annoying Brian kept our water-glasses filled, laughed at my attempts at humor, and generally made the evening a memorable occasion. We passed on dessert, and went on our way with most of my lamb shank in a box. I had it for lunch a few days later.
As we started the engine, we marveled at the fact that we had only been in the restaurant a little over an hour. The food had been excellent and the service beyond reproach — Brian was a prince among men; any nubile young women reading this are exhorted to throw themselves at him. It was not cheap, but it was worth every penny.
We shall return