Ode to Home
An homage to restaurateur Fares Kargar’s roots, Inman Park’s DELBAR transports guests to the Iranian countryside
Atlantans don’t have to travel far for a worldly experience thanks to restaurateur Fares Kargar, who opened Middle Eastern hot spot, Delbar, in Inman Park last May. With dreamy interiors and a family-style menu rooted in tradition with a twist, Delbar is the Little Women of restaurants—masterfully intertwining separate stories of food, family, culture and home into one narrative that you simply can’t help but love.
Inside and on the glass-enclosed patio, every detail tells a story. Art throughout the restaurant was imported from Iran, and at the bar, glassware with arched detailing resembles Iranian architecture. The logo depicting a woman’s face represents the female figures who taught Kargar how to cook, and Middle Eastern design elements—Moroccan tile, clay plaster walls, woven chairs, colorful carpets and popular pre-revolution Iranian films projected on the bathroom walls—remind Kargar of home. “I envisioned my grandmother’s village in Northern Iran, Dastjerd, and tried to re-create it in the form of a restaurant,” says Kargar.
That’s not to say opening the concept came easy. Because of the pandemic, normally common ingredients like beef and lamb were hard to come by, but Kargar stayed determined. A soft opening offered to-go only options until dine-in service was able to be safely implemented. “I was so close to fulfilling my dream of owning my own restaurant that going back was not an option,” he says.
As for the menu, Kargar created dishes inspired by family recipes, such as Akbar Joojeh (Persian-style Cornish hen) and stuffed trout, and introduced more traditional Middle Eastern dishes like lamb neck shawarma, an assortment of spreads (think hummus and labneh, a creamy strained yogurt concoction) and crispy rice selections. To infuse a layer of smokiness, dishes are cooked over charcoal, common in the Middle East but a technique not often seen in Atlanta’s commercial kitchens.
And the experience is truly transportive. Its name translating to “heart captured,” guests are sure to feel as though they’ve discovered a new corner of the world upon finishing a meal at Delbar. “I want the restaurant to stand up to its name and steal people’s heart away,” says Kargar. “I want Delbar to represent a journey into the Middle East, and my childhood, without needing to take a flight. And beyond that, I want people to fall in love with Middle Eastern food and culture like I did.”