First Look: Joon Brings Upscale Persian Dishes to Tysons
The collaboration is a first for lauded cookbook author Najmieh Batmanglij and chef Christopher Morgan of Michelin-starred Maydan.
Meet Joon, a chic new Persian restaurant now open in Tysons.
Named for the Farsi word for “life,” the eatery, which opened June 14, is a collaboration between chef and cookbook author Najmieh Batmanglij—whom The Washington Post in 2018 crowned the “grande dame of Iranian cooking” —and Christopher Morgan, a Northern Virginia native and former co-executive chef of Michelin-starred Maydan in the District.
The menu commingles an array of Middle Eastern cuisines while highlighting dishes and spices that are distinctively Iranian.
“We set out to showcase Iran’s rich history of food and wine, with a variety of flavors unknown to the rest of the world,” co-founder and restaurateur Reza Farahani (Yasmine’s, Pizza Serata in D.C.) said in a press release. “Most non-Iranians know Persian restaurants for their kabobs, and our vision was to complement our amazing kabobs with dishes that will delight anyone who is ready for a truly unique and unforgettable culinary experience.”
The menu features a slate of shareable plates, such as lamb sanbuseh (turnovers with pistachio, powdered sugar and rose petals), spinach borani (a yogurt dip with garlic, cardamom, saffron and black pepper) and fried sardines with Aleppo chile, crispy onions, orange, pomegranate and cilantro.
For something more filling, dig into the eggplant and sour grapes khoresh (a stew with chicken, tomato, saffron and turmeric) or duck beryan, a whole rotisserie dry-aged bird served with sour cherry rice, shallot yogurt dip, barberry preserve, sour orange and sabzi that serves four to six people. Lavash is also provided gratis and prepared in a stone oven.
There are several flavorful kabob options, from shrimp or filet mignon to lamb rib chops with yogurt, lime, orange, turmeric, saffron and rose water.
On the beverage front, diners can choose from nearly three dozen wines, beer and hard seltzer on tap. The cocktail program includes crafty concoctions such as the Majnoon (vodka, green chartreuse, blanc vermouth, mint, cucumber and rose petal tea), the Persian Sazerac (VSOP cognac, fig cordial, sumac bitters, aragh rinse) and the Joon spritz (Antica Torino Stellare Primo, Vini Del Re Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro, soda water).
Have a hankering for something sweet? Finish up with a slice of Persian love cake (kashk double cream, pistachio, blackberry jam) or “Najmieh’s baklava,” served with cardamom ice cream and almonds.
Iranian-born Batmanglij has four decades of culinary experience and is the author of several cookbooks, including Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies and Joon: Persian Cooking Made Simple. She was featured in the 2021 Mayukh Sen book Taste Makers: Seven Immigrant Women Who Revolutionized Food in America.
Morgan is the chef behind several D.C.-area concepts, including Bammy’s in Navy Yard and both Pizza Serata and Yasmine in Union Market. (Farahani is a co-owner of the latter two concepts.) He formerly served as co-owner and co-executive chef at D.C. sister restaurants Maydan, which earned a Michelin star in 2019, and Compass Rose.
Joon is located at 8045 Leesburg Pike, Tysons. It is open from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 11:30 a.m. to 12 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.