Ravagh Persian Grill
If you want quality Middle Eastern food in New York then Ravagh is place to go. This humble Grill is located at 11 E. 30th St (between 5th & Madison Ave)... which is walking distance from my place, so I eat there a lot. If you were not familiar with this restaurant you could walk past it without even noticing it. The sign is small and unattractive.
What this place lacks in aesthetics it definitely makes up with the food it dishes out. From the usual Persian appetizers like Humus or Babaganoush to the more exotic Mirza Ghasemi & Burani Bademjan, and entree's like Lamb Shank or Kobideh with Cherry Basmati or Dill Rice... you will find the experience totally satisfying and heart warming.
The essence of good Middle Eastern food lies in the balance of spices, which never over powers the taste of the meat. Its simple yet not very easy to master. I've had food at many (yes many) middle eastern restaurants and have never gone back, needless to say the food has been terrible. This is why im always on the look out for a great Mediterranean place so that every time I have a craving for Persian food i don't have to face a culinary disappointment. I first discovered Ravagh in 2008, and every time I come to New York this is one of the first places I visit... it never disappoints.