This weekend the Bistro at Oakway Wine & Deli is hosting a Norooz Persian New Year Dinner. Restaurant owner Sariborz “Borzi” Marashi is offering his restaurant as a cultural center for Iranians in Eugene to celebrate together. Sharing his tables with Eugeneans of all ethnicities is likely to unite dinners through their taste buds with this special meal.

“There’s a lot of bad publicity about Iran now,” Marashi says. “I am opposed to the current Iranian government and how they came into power, but I don’t think the best solution is to invade and bomb a country. I think there are better ways to bring democracy.”

The sold out dinner is a good indicator that the seat of Eugene’s compassion is often in her stomach.

The Traditional Norouz Meal

Norouz (aka Norooz, No Ruz, Naw Ruz) coincides with the spring equinox, to mark the beginning of the year. With the fields showing signs of life, and the trees in bloom, this season shift of New Years celebrations has me sold.

Traditionally, this meal is crafted so that each dish represents 7 angels, the Haft Sin, to herald in the new year: health, beauty, patience, rebirth, prosperity, happiness and joy. Specific ingredients are often employed to invoke this symbology. The haft sin table often has grain sprouts growing in a dish, sweet pudding, dried fruit (esp of the oleaster tree), garlic, apples, and sumac berries.

This Weekend’s Norouz Menu at Oakway Wine & Deli Bistro

Sparkling Wine

Eggplant, Garlic, Fried Onion & Mint Served with Pita
Salad of Cucumber, Radish, Mint, Tomato, Feta & Walnuts with Lime Vinaigrette & Garlic Herb Pita

Entree Choices:
Pan Seared Halibut with Kuku -Fresh Herb Cake, and Dill-Herb Basmati
Braised Lamb Shank, Fire Roasted Tomato & Garlic, Sweet Onion, with Dill Fava Bean Basmati Rice
Grilled Lemon Chicken with Glazed Carrot, Orange Peel Saffron Rice

Rice Pudding with Almonds Saffron
Three Nut Baklava

3 Comments

posted March 16th, 2007 at 5:56 pm

This sounds fascinating — hope you’ll be able to go and tell us all about the meal and the traditions.

posted March 23rd, 2007 at 8:15 am

My husband is Persian, and we celebrate Norooz with the traditional dinner of mahi (fish) sabzi polo (herb rice). Happy Norooz!!

posted April 14th, 2007 at 3:06 am

That menu sounds amazing. I’d eat til I exploded!

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