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Persian-Mediterranean restaurant YALDA introduces Atlantans to a new genre of family fare in Sandy Springs

The Iranian winter solstice celebration, Yalda Night, serves as the eponym for chef Ashkan Famili’s newest restaurant, Yalda, located in Sandy Springs. After working under the expertise of renowned Atlanta chef Pano Karatassos, Famili went on to develop his own concepts in Buckhead, Marietta and Memphis, Tennessee. Yalda, however, is a true testament of his love for family and food. “The idea for Yalda sparked from celebrating time with loved ones, sharing food, reading poetry and reminiscing,” says Famili, who opened the restaurant with longtime friend and business partner Farhan Kheraj. “We were inspired to create a setting for our guests to make memories with their loved ones.”

As guests enter through the large wooden door, bright hues in both the interiors and dishes make a grand appearance. Staying loyal to the restaurant’s roots, dishes are made to share and prepared with traditional Persian techniques. “The dishes on our menu represent true Persian food that is made fresh daily with the highest quality of local ingredients,” says Famili. “Chef Raymon Beltran has been a key player in putting a great culinary team together.”

Begin your meal with a selection of spreads like the Kashk Bademjoon spread (fried eggplant, cream of whey, crispy onions, garlic and mint) served with fresh naan and pair it with a small dish or mezze. The menu also boasts savory entrées like a salmon kabob, veggie stew and the lamb shank. To sip, pair the fare with one of Yalda’s vivid cocktails or choose from their extensive wine list.

Designed in partnership with Cy Bickers from Restaurants Consulting Group, the interior design of Yalda employs a mix of colors and patterns that enhance the entire meal experience. Turkish rugs line the floors and blue velvet chairs are ideal resting spots for dinner dialogue.

Atlantans should also be on the lookout for Yalda’s second location opening on Howell Mill Road. Already familiar with the bustling food scene of the Westside, Famili knew his Middle Eastern, family-inspired restaurant would be a perfect addition to the in-town neighborhood. yaldaatl.com