Now open: Shiraz transforms old Cintia's flavor palette to Persian

  • Article by: RICK NELSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 17, 2007 - 5:23 PM

Bahman Razmpour's reasons for converting his 22-year-old Cintia's of Mexico into Shiraz Fire Roasted Cuisine can be summarized in a single word: numbers. "On Lake Street, it seems as if there is a Mexican restau rant on every corner," he said with a laugh. "There are just too many Mexican restaurants and not enough business to go around."

Bahman Razmpour's reasons for converting his 22-year-old Cintia's of Mexico into Shiraz Fire Roasted Cuisine can be summarized in a single word: numbers. "On Lake Street, it seems as if there is a Mexican restau rant on every corner," he said with a laugh. "There are just too many Mexican restaurants and not enough business to go around."

So the Iranian-born restaurateur went back to his Persian roots. Meals start with a variety of spreads (yogurt blended with shallots, eggplant mashed with garlic and mint, hummus), grape leaves stuffed with peas, tarragon and beef and crispy rice patties topped with a savory steak-red bean stew.

The balance of the menu is devoted to variations on beef, lamb and chicken. There are charbroiled skewers of ground chuck; chunks of filet mignon skewered with green peppers, onions and tomatoes; a beef stew enriched with dried limes and split yellow beans; lamb shanks, and chicken five ways. All are served with rice (get the fancy stuff, blended with dill or barberry) and served with choice of soup or a simple salad. Appetizers fall in the $4 to $7 range, and entrees average $11.

Desserts ($3 to $5) include sour cherry and rosewater-pistachio ice creams, baklava and lemon sorbet over rice noodles. There's a small selection of familiar and affordable wines and beers, and the colorful setting is cheerful and comfortable..

  • SHIRAZ FIRE ROASTED CUISINE

    6042 Nicollet Av. S., Minneapolis, 612-861-5500

    Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday

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