photo credit: Emily Schindler
Despite having the second largest Persian population in the US, NYC doesn’t have as many Persian restaurants as we’d like. Which is to say, Eyval doesn’t need to be as cool as it is. We'd gladly shovel their quality kabobs and potato tahdig in our mouths within even the drabbest four walls, so getting to do so at a chic spot in Bushwick that feels like it’s frequented by the first ever person to french tuck is an added bonus.
Eyval comes from the team behind Sofreh, a Persian restaurant in Prospect Heights. It’s evident the two share some DNA, although this newer spot takes itself a little less seriously. It has a white-brick and brightly-lit aesthetic similar to that of its sister restaurant, but Eyval also has LED Farsi lettering on the walls and saffron ice cream sandwiches.
Starters and small plates are the move here, and you should order as many as your table can agree on. The fava bean borani topped with sprigs of dill and the potato tahdig sitting in a rich plum sauce are super flavorful for how simple they sound, and the deconstructed kashke bademjan is a clever way to make the mint and tangy yogurt pop. Some portion sizes feel small—a single kabob koobideh for $17 is almost as eye-roll-inducing as the $100 white tee on the model-off-duty we imagine sitting at the bar—but the food is unique, and it all tastes good.
Eyval is a good spot to have a casual date or catch-up with friends when you’re looking for a place that’s cool without trying too hard, and it's perfect for a dinner that goes with your outfit. Come here to eat stylish Persian food, then keep the night going at one of the über–Bushwick bars down the street.
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Fava Bean Borani
The fava bean borani is small but mighty, flavor-wise. We can't help but order it every time we're there.
The one larger entree to leave room for at the expense of a couple small plates is the fesenjan, which is a serious looker topped with bright pink cabbage. Sometimes it’s made with a half chicken, sometimes it’s made with duck breast—but both proteins play well with the sweet and sour pomegranate sauce.
This tahdig is one of the more glamorous dishes on the menu. Instead of the traditional mound of rice topped with crispy potatoes, you get a thinner, crispier version with a luxuriously creamy sauce. You must order this, not just because it tastes good but also because it's too pretty to pass up.
Persian food generally kills it when it comes to eggplant dishes, and this one is no exception. The fleshy vegetable goes great with the crunchy fried onion, garlic chips, and walnuts.
This is our favorite cocktail, and it's the one you'll hear the people around you get excited about. We think saffron is a necessary component of any Persian meal, and this is a fun way to incorporate it into your evening.
Saffron Ice Cream Sandwich
A crumbly raisin shell, some seriously strong saffron ice cream, and the fun of eating an ice cream sandwich make this our favorite dessert. We'd buy packs of it for home if we could.