Monday, December 28, 2015

Rumi's Kitchen - Sandy Springs - Atlanta Georgia

You can find Rumi's Kitchen at 6112 Roswell Road NE, Sandy Springs, Atlanta, GA 30328 - this is a free-standing building between Mellow Mushroom (look for the yellow dome-like awning) and IHOP just South of the Hilderbrand Dr intersection with Roswell Rd.

I've been coming to Rumi's as a regular for many, many years and I've reviewed it a few times - my last review was in 2011 so I've decided it's time to freshen up my impressions a bit. I started my visits at the old location in 2010 and have continued as the restaurant expanded into it's beautifully rendered version 2.0 a block South. The interior is a fusion of modernist loft and elegant dining with Persian/Mediterranean accents - simply beautiful. I also like the open-kitchen concept with the tandoor-style ovens where they make the fresh flat-bread. With an elegant ambiance, great service and real cloth napkins, this is an experience worth sharing with your friends, family or business associates.

The daily specials change frequently but for the most part the menu is consistent with many signature dishes. Lunch is a bit shorter, I've not noticed the prices being less but the portions may be smaller (for instance, the excellent Sea Bass only has one piece during lunch instead of 2 during dinner - you can still order the dinner portion for lunch if you're hungry). Rumi's is quite good at adapting the menu slightly for your needs - for instance if you're a vegetarian you can have the felafals as sliders instead of a wrap.

The beautiful bar allows you to sample from a great wine list or try one of the specialty cocktails. I tend to look at the regional craft and select from there - I don't recall the brand but it was quite good.

Once seated you'll receive a basket of flat bread - more like a naan than a pita - the bread is prepared in tandoor-style ovens that you can see to the right of the open kitchen. You also receive a plate with a bit of feta, wonderfully buttery green olives, butter, walnuts, mint and tarragon. You mix the various ingredients together on the bread for a little appetizer - add a dip or two to make this exceptional. I always order and recommend:

  • Kashk Badenjoon - fried eggplant, cream of whey, crispy onion, mint - love this spread - really my favorite of the three apps I've had.
  • Mirza Ghasemi - smoked eggplant, tomato, garlic
  • Rumi's Dip (Hummus) - ground chickpea with tahini, garlic & olive

I also like their salads either in combination with lunch or as a side to the sandwiches/wraps:

  • Arugula Salad - Persian cucumber, mint, radish, feta, lemon vinaigrette - I love this salad and the greens/vinaigrette works well with any dish. It's very lightly dressed and prepares your palate for everything else to come.
  • Salmon Salad - seasonal greens, cucumber, lemon vinaigrette
  • Lamb Salad - mint yogurt marinated lamb sirloin, arugula, Persian cucumber, mint, radish - this is my salad when I feel like I need to lighten up a bit. The marinated lamb is quite delicious and they will cook it on the rare side - very delicious.
  • Mast Khiyar - a yogurt cucumber salad, a bit lighter than the dips above

Sandwiches I've tried include:

  • Falafel Sandwich - blended chickpeas, herbs & spices, relish, red onions, tahini sauce
  • Lamb Sliders - ground lamb, roasted tomato, mint, sumac red onion, yogurt sauce, open flatbread
  • Falafel Sliders - blended chickpeas, herbs & spices, sumac red onion, yogurt sauce, open flatbread (not typically on the menu)
  • Koobideh Sandwich - seasoned chuck, hanger & brisket ground bbeef blend, seasonal greens - this is my "go to" during lunch for a quick-and-delicious bite. It's combines fantastic flavors, a great side-salad and won't break your pocketbook.
For entrees I've had the following:

  • Chinjeh Lubia Polo - beef sirloin kabob, braised green bean & tomato basmati rice
  • Chicken Koobideh - saffron, onion & ground chicken breast, saffron & herb basmati rice - I get this occasionally but find it on the dryer side.
  • Roasted Salmon - saffron salmon filet, saffron & herb basmati rice
  • Koobideh Kabob - seasoned chuck, hanger & brisket ground beef blend, saffron basmati rice
  • Barg Kabob - beef tenderloin, saffron basmati rice
  • Soltani Kabob - boobideh kabob, barg kabob, saffron basmati rice
  • Lamb kabob - mint & yogurt marinaded lamb sirloin, lentil & raisin basmati rice - I love this dish
  • Chilean Sea Bass - saffron fillet, saffron & herb basmati rice - this is hands-down the best sea bass I've ever had, bar-none. Some of my friends always order the dinner portion during lunch, it's so good.
  • Shish Kabob - center cut tenderloin skewer grilled with yellow onion, red bell pepper, and zuchinni on a bed of saffron basmati rice - during lunch is isn't on the menu but is often offered up as a special. Get this as rare as you can stand it. The dinner portion is truly massive portion (fit for a king!) and very delicious. The meat is very flavorful and fork-tender. This is hands-down the best Shish Kabob in Atlanta.

All entrees can have the starch interchanged - there are also a few things on the menu that are usually reserved for the specials that you can change-up for an extra charge:
  • fava bean & dill rice
  • lentil & raisin
I frequently bring business visitors from our other offices to Rumi's and they've never failed to delight and accommodate us with parties exceeding 20 people. The restaurant also has a private dinning room in the back for special occasions - you will need to call ahead and negotiate your menu, etc in advance.

I consider this the only 5/5 star restaurant I've tried above the perimeter. Try it and you'll see why.

-- John

(also posted to Yelp)
Rumi's Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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