Toucheh has had a place in our heart since we first dined there in December 2016. This family run restaurant is a little hidden gem in Westmount. Their menu is mainly old school Italian but true to the owner and chef’s heritage, there are a few Persian dishes on the menu. On Mondays they have a special exclusively Persian menu, but a few of these dishes trickle into their regular weekly menu. Before reading on, click HERE to read about our first visit at Toucheh!
The best part? This restaurant is also a BYOW! Toucheh always makes us feel wonderful, like we’re eating at home with our family. One of their main dishes, the Mirza Qasemi, was offered to us as an appetizer instead of a main. Smoked eggplant is baked with tons of fresh garlic, tomato and onion into a purée. The main has the option of being served with an egg, and with their Persian style saffron rice. The appetizer that we received was served with delicious fresh bread, warm out of the oven.
There were so many dishes to choose from, but we were advised to try the house specialties. Each main comes with a soup or salad to start. The soup of the week was a red lentil soup that was so wonderfully spiced with Persian spices that we couldn’t get enough of it. That’s what we love about Toucheh, they don’t shy away from using a lot of spices in their food, their dishes are not Canadianized to suit western palates. We also enjoyed the green salad that was full of purple cabbage, as well as red and yellow beets for something different.
The pièce de resistance was the Chelo-Mahicheh, we assure you, you have not tasted lamb like this before. The meat fell off the bone, the bone marrow was succulent, and there was a generous topping of caramelized onions made with the juice of the lamb shank and red wine. We couldn’t get enough of the lamb! As a little treat, we were also given Bakhtiari Kabab, which are grilled marinated pieces of veal and boneless chicken thighs. Normally these are two separate main dishes, but we were spoiled and got to try them both on the same plate. The kababs were grilled to perfection, and again, all the meat was aromatically seasoned with Persian spices.
The Cornish game hen also fell off the bone. Prepared with fresh onion, garlic, saffron and tomato paste, it was heavenly. Served with the same Persian style saffron rice dish as the lamb dish, this time they topped the rice with fresh barberries that were prepared with butter, sugar and saffron. Cooking with barberries is common in Iranian cuisine, they are similar enough to cranberries but less bitter. They added a different texture and flavour to the rice, it was a wonderful combination. Both meat dishes were also served with a side of yogurt which was seasoned with fresh herbs and garlic, perfect for dipping your meat or rice into, it wasn’t too potent and added a nice creaminess to both plates.
We were too full to move but Toucheh wanted us to try everything so we were brought a side dish of their Dolmeh main. A red bell pepper was stuffed with a mix of ground veal, fresh herbs, rice and split peas in a well seasoned tomato sauce. The split peas were a wonderful addition and, once again, the Persian spices left us further in love with Persian cuisine.
For dessert we enjoyed an affogato and a delicious homemade Panna Cotta with a red berry coulis that was refreshing on this warm summer night. We adore this family run restaurant that prepares true comfort food. Toucheh is where you go for an exceptional Persian dinner on a Monday night. Don’t worry, they have a few Persian dishes that have snuck onto their Italian menu, and are available the rest of the week. Don’t forget to bring your own wine!
Our Rating: Splendid
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