Teleport to the Middle East at Delbar, now open in Inman Park.
the ample patio space
Influenced by Turkish, Iranian, Israeli and Lebanese food and culture, Delbar, now open in Inman Park, is a flavor hunter’s dream. Delbar means “heart, captured” in Farsi, which is an encapsulation of Iranian-born owner Fares Kargar’s dream to open the restaurant, and a nod to some of the family recipes he used in the creation of the menu. Whether you’re a pro at Middle Eastern cuisine or looking to expand your culinary horizons, Delbar delivers.
The menu is divided into mazze (small bites), spreads, meats, and greens and grains, with sharing encouraged. The Omani prawns from the mazze section are enormous and served with a yogurt dip made from a marinade consisting of Persian dried lime, sour orange and herbs—a light and refreshing way to kick off the meal. Good old hummus is featured in the spreads section, as are two types of labneh (yogurt dip); you want the one with dill and walnuts. I’ve been known to eat labneh straight from the spoon, but the black-and-white-sesame pita called taftoun that is served with it is also a good vehicle for getting every last bite. There’s also mast khiyar, a cousin of tzatziki made with Persian cucumbers, and kashk bademjoon, a dip akin to the more popular baba ghanoush.
Offerings include akbar joojeh, a butter-fried Cornish hen served with pomegranate sauce.
Under meats you’ll find a bevy of kabobs, as well as heartier offerings like stuffed trout, lamb rib stew and even a full lamb chop, although you should expect to bring most of your meat home if you spent most of your time on the upper half of the menu like I did. And under no circumstances should you miss out on the greens and grains section—sabzi polo in particular will be a reason unto itself to return. Made from scallions, parsley, cilantro, fenugreek and basmati rice, it resembles Persian tahdig with its golden, crispy crust. I was scraping the plate by the end of the meal trying to get every last morsel.
Opening a restaurant in the middle of a pandemic cannot be anything but difficult, but Kargar and his team have done an excellent job. The patio makes social distancing easy, and the addition of rugs and pillows and other textiles transports you, even if only for an afternoon, to a sunny place. Should you choose to dine inside, Iranian artwork is on display in the light-flooded space. Even if you choose to take out at Delbar, expect a delicious delight of a meal. 870 Inman Village Parkway, 404.500.1444
Iranian art features in the light and bright dining room
Photography by: courtesy of Delbar