Best Middle Eastern Restaurant - 2009
Café Natasha's Kabob International
Café Natasha's Kabob International isn't the sort of place you stop at if you're in a hurry, but as the old dictum goes, good things come to those who wait. The array of sumptuous stews and aromatically seasoned kebabs on the menu reveal a patience in the kitchen for preparing a complex mixture of spices and marinades that is delicate on the tongue, never overpowering. It speaks to the great strengths of a restaurant when even simple items such as saffron rice or a house salad with feta and pepperoncini induce cravings in its loyal customers. It's traditional Persian cuisine done exceptionally well. Falafel, baba ghannouj, shawarma and shish kebab — all the basics are amply represented, not to mention mouthwatering hummus, elegantly tart with tahini and lemon, served with warm slices of pita. But the real treats are in store for the more adventurous eaters, from supple beef tongue served with a curry-mustard sauce to stewed lamb biryani pilaf mixed with caramelized onion and cumin (recommended with roasted tomato). There's an air of understated sophistication in this family-owned restaurant, making it a perfect destination for leisurely dining and long conversations with good company.