6653 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60626
We’ve driven past Masouleh on Clark a thousand times, but it was only when we were seeking a spot for a low-key date night that we actually popped in – and we are glad we did. Named after a picturesque town in Northern Iran, Masouleh specializes in northern Persian food, a new regional specialty to us. Masouleh is a family place, and attracts a wide swath of neighbors, locals and Persian families making the special trip. Masouleh is not too fancy, but just a little bit romantic if you have a low key significant other (nice touch: flowers and candles on the table!). The menu at Masouleh is small and straightforward. You will recognize many of the main dishes from other restaurants, however we were also pleased that they had Northern Persian specialties. We started off with a cucumber and yogurt salad, which M devoured too quickly to be photographed. For mains we got fesenjan ($13) – chicken with ground walnut and Pomegranate sauce, served with rice (pictured below). The dish was simple, but hearty, and the sauce took on a deliciously creamy flavor.
For the second entree we decided to do a little something different. Every day there is a northern Persian specialty, and on that day it was an intriguing salty/sweet dish: Gheimeh Nessar, which is made of beef stew marinated with onions, saffron, split peas, sourberries, pistachios, almonds and orange peels served with white rice. The flavor combination had the potential to be overpowering but it was actually perfectly spiced and delicate. Both of our entrees came with a huge variety of side dishes, certainly more than we expected: pita bread, feta cheese with tomatoes, and a cup of the soup of the day, a hearty lentil. We were positively and pleasantly stuffed, but we decided to make a little room for dessert.
To finish our meal, we ordered Persian Ice cream($3), which was flavored with rose water, saffron and pistachio. Maybe a little too much rosewater, but still very tasty. The table next to us got some tempting-looking baklava, and we are looking forward to trying that next time. We highly enjoyed our dinner at Masouleh, and we can’t wait to try some more Northern Persian food. If you’re looking to impress your foodie date, this is the place!