My maternal great-grandmother, whom I called “Nanny,” knew how to live right. For all the years we were on the planet together, I never saw her eat a savory food. She skipped the formalities and went right to the Poire belle Hélène. Hey, it had fruit in it. By her standards, that was a health food.
There are times where this is the correct method for dining, whether you crave dessert first or not. One example: Shamshiry in Vienna.
Recently, I had an underwhelming meal at the stylish Persian restaurant. The kebabs lacked flavor, but I decided to give them one more chance and order dessert. Sweets weren’t listed on the tabletop menus, so this was a gamble, but I was craving a Persian ice cream sandwich.
For $6, I got a good-sized plate covered in four segments of ice cream stuffed between two layers of wafer. As much as chicken and filet mignon (and yes, even the zereshk polo) left me yawning, the power of the ice cream’s flavors quickly roused me. The rose was so vivid, I could practically feel the thorns, yet there wasn’t a hint of the soapiness that makes some diners shy away from floral flavors.
Saffron gave the ice cream its telltale color, but also a subtle flavor that’s somewhere between flowers and honey. The ice cream started out frozen solid, but quickly took on a creaminess that might have made me guess it was gelato, it was so airy and milky. Crunching into the wafer wasn’t always easy with ice cream squeezing out, but it was worth the messy effort.
The moral of this story is clear: Always order dessert. You might just find your latest obsession. // 8607 Westwood Center Drive, Vienna
For more restaurant reviews, subscribe to our Food newsletter.