Tuesday evening we got together with our friends Karen and Herman and tried out Pomegranate on Main. We were in the mood for something different by tasty, and this certainly fit the bill. I only had my cell phone here, so the photos don’t do the place justice.
POM is located just across the Reedy on Main Street in the popular West End section of town. In such a prominent location, parking can sometimes be hard to find, but there is a garage not too far away.
The interior is decorated with warm lush tones with hints of Middle Eastern decor. As the name would suggest, there are pomegranate-themed items throughout the restaurant.
The restaurant is divided into two spaces about equal in size. There is the interior portion flanked by a large bar on one wall, and the exterior portico opening out to Main Street. The portico is climate controlled, so it’s available in all but the most inclement of weather.
While were there the patrons were mostly in dressy casual attire. I’m not sure I would feel comfortable coming here in blue jeans and flannel, but I could be wrong.
To be honest, I didn’t look at the menu as closely as I might have because we decided early on a course of action. It’s a good thing they have it online. The cuisine is Persian, with heavy emphasis on kabobs and starches such as rice.
There is a selection of starters, including some salads and some toppings for pita bread. The entree’s feature a variety of meats in kabob form accompanied by Basmati rice or lentils. Prices on the starters run from $5 – $10, and the entree’s start around $15.
As mentioned earlier, we had decided on a course of action early. Since it was Laura’s and my first time here, we decided to do the Tour of Persia for Four, which included two starters, a variety of kabobs, two different rices, and hot tea.
I started with the signature pomegranate martini, made with Absolut pom vodka and who knows what else. It was garnished with a pansey, which I was told is edible. I decided not to try it. The martini was good, but was a tad sweeter than I might have liked. The others ordered a bottle of Groth sauvignon blanc.
For starters we had the Mast Khiyar, which is similar to a Greek tzatziki sause with diced cucumber and yogurt, and the Mirza Ghasemi, made of diced tomato, eggplant, and garlic. Both of these were served with pita, feta, and mint leaves. The flavors for both were rich and wonderful, but the Mirza was my favorite. I could have made a meal just off of that, but there was more to come.
The Tour of Persian included a Barg kabob, or grilled tenderloin, chicken, rack of lamb, ground chuck, and a veggie kabob. To this we added rice with barberry and an order of plain basmati rice. For each of these the herbs and spices were what really made the meal. Nothing was overpowering, but everything was savory and delicious. The barberry rice tended to be a bit sweet, but it was still excellent. I liked all of these, and will have a hard time decided which to choose when Laura and I come back by ourselves. Below is the “before and after” showing the platter then the remains.
Again, my little cellphone camera just doesn’t do it justice.
After dinner we were served Persian tea with small cubes of sugar. The proper etiquette was to place the cube of sugar in your mouth, then drink the tea as the sugar dissolves on your tongue. The bits of sugar were more like hard candy, and we almost consumed them as such.
Even with tea and “candy”, we had to try the dessert offerings. Laura and I shared a dish of pomegranate mint chocolate chip ice cream, and Herman ordered a banana nut praline cake. Karen decided to stick with the sugar cubes. The ice cream was the hit, with pink pips of pomegranate scattered throughout. Herman’s cake was good, but the general consensus was no more so than a typical banana nut muffin.
Service throughout the meal was excellent. Our waiter was kind enough to let us sample wines while making a selection, putting up with our questions about the place, and indulging us as we took photos of food.
Everything about the meal was fantastic, from the flavors to the presentation to the atmosphere. This is can be pricey, but not as much as some other options in town. The Tour for Four turned out to be a very good deal. Pomegranate is a place that we will have to try again.