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Dining Review: Bha! Bha! Persian Bistro

After closing up shop off Vanderbilt Beach Road, Bha! Bha! has reopened with a stunning new home on Fifth Avenue South. And thankfully, chef Michael Mir brought along the same great food.

After the drive from Fort Myers and walk of a few blocks down Fifth Avenue South, my husband, Kevin, and I are already weary travelers who find a chic oasis as we step through the open doors into Bha! Bha! Persian Bistro. Soft lights, ruby-colored walls and quiet Persian music greet us as smoothly as the young women who show us to our table. We pass a low seating arrangement scattered with colorful cushions near the front door, a prim row of white-clothed tables and several gorgeous ivory wall sculptures that resemble sand blown into wave formations as we are led through a silky saffron-colored curtain to the rear dining room. Seating for tables along the left wall is covered in a teal green fabric that glistens in the candle glow. I relax into the luxurious seat, resting my arm on a small rolled cushion as we are handed hefty menus. Our server, Michele, indicates that the bartender is muddling some lemon-saffron martinis and persuades Kevin to try one ($12). I order a glass of the 2009 4 Vines Zinfandel ($9) as we peruse the menu. Kick off your night with a lemon-saffron martini or something else from the bar. Spicy garlic mussels ($14) and pistachio lamb meatballs ($13) are tempting, but the kashke bademjune–flash fried eggplants, served with Persian whey, fresh herbs, olives and feta—are our appetizer pick ($11). What a fortunate choice. Food is often described as “melting in your mouth,” but this eggplant disappears on the tongue in a
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