After some pleasant introductions and lemonade, it was decided that we would head back to River North for dinner. Not only that, but we'd be meeting with Dr. Loghmanee's brother Cyrus, a doctor as well who happened to be in town for a board examination. So with an excited group, we departed for Reza's.
The first thing that came into play was the parking. I drove around the restaurant twice and wasn't able to find anything because all the spots were permit parking only. Then I realized that valet parking was free. I gave the valet my keys and headed on in. The restaurant is gigantic with a large bar area in front, an even larger dining room behind it, and a series of private areas. We were sat at a lengthy table that stretched through an open door so that part of it was outside. This was a really nice touch with the good weather. We had called ahead and were sat right away. I'd been here once before with my family, and without a reservation we waited a while.
The service was pretty good although they didn't have to do much. We all went for the dinner buffet, so all they had to do was take plates away and refill water. I think the buffet was around $18 per person which is an alright price. Interestingly, all of the M1s were vegetarians, and the menu didn't really conform to that. Ultimately, the buffet and the seating were pretty convenient for such a large group. I get the feeling that this place specializes with catering and large in house parties.
We didn't get any appetizers this time around, but I'd like to tell a little story about when I went with my family. Now my dad sometimes gets set in his opinions of food. We ordered the appetizer salad sampler, and my dad practically inhaled the roasted eggplant (he didn't know what it was at the time), but he wouldn't touch the baba ganoush because he supposedly hates eggplant. When he asked the waitress what this fantastic dish was, and she responded that it was eggplant, he then turned to us to say he didn't really like it that much.
Buffet Plate #1
As I said before, we went with the buffet. My first plate included Pita, Falafel, Hummus, Tomato and Cucumber Salad, Greek Salad, and a Creamy Chicken Soup. The Falafel was kind of dense and a little cold. The Hummus was very rich, creamy, and delicious. Both salads were pretty good but definitely overdressed. The soup was far too thick and didn't have nearly enough chicken.
The Creamy Chicken Soup
My second plate had Dill Rice, Mixed Vegetable Rice, Lamb Shank, Reza's Spicy Chicken, and Beef Kabob. The rices were nicely done, well spiced, and contained lots of veggies. The Spicy Chicken had an exciting rub on it, but the chicken was overcooked a little. The Kabob was overdone as well and kind of dry but still had a nice herb flavoring. The Lamb Shank had really tender meat and was very savory. The only issue was that there was a decent amount of fat and bones to get around, and eating became somewhat of a mess.
Buffet Plate #2
Some of the food was really tasty, and some of it was just alright. The food that wasn't so great was mostly because of a poorly managed buffet setup. Some of the food was allowed to get cold or dry out, and some of it was just far too oily (I assume in an attempt to make it keep for longer). The biggest positive to Reza's is it's ability to accommodate large groups in an efficient manner. I'm giving Reza's 2 out of 5 Pearls.
I'd like to extend a special thanks to Dr. Loghmanee and his family for making all of us feel so welcome, and to Rupesh for taking all of the pictures.