By Stefanie Gans and Rina Rapuano
McLean | Persian | $$$
It might be a casual Tuesday afternoon lunch with a friend, but the minute a plate of incredibly moist and flavorful chimichurri lamb served with a mound of shirin polo hits the table, lunch suddenly feels like a celebration. The lamb arrives with a spicy green sauce that goes quickly, and you feel vindicated with this obsession when overhearing other tables asking for more.
There are many versions of rice here, such as the crispy tahdig working great with hearty dishes like the braised lamb shank, but the shirin polo is an alluring pile of fluffy grains topped with pomegranate, pistachios, candied carrots and orange zest, lending each bite sweetness, crunch and pop. Start with a refreshing iced tea laced with rose water and saffron and end with an off-menu saffron ice cream sandwich. // 6271 Old Dominion Drive, McLean