Yalda’s interior and exterior design will pay homage to the ancient land. (Submitted)

Executive chef and co-owner Ashkan Famili will open two locations of his Persian restaurant, Yalda, this year in Sandy Springs and West Midtown.

The Sandy Springs location at 6500 Aria Boulevard, Suite 500, will look like a villa in Lavasan. A West Midtown location is also expected to open later this year, but no address was given

“I chose the name Yalda because of my childhood memories of Yalda nights with my family being together, sharing food, poetry and stories,” Famili said in the release. “My grandfather was a butcher, so cooking and presentation have always been in my blood. Our menu is inspired by ‘meze’ because of my many memories sharing small plates on Yalda night with my family.”

He said guests will notice several items featuring pomegranate, the symbol of night, which will be used in both the kitchen and the bar at Yalda.

The menu will focus on Persian dishes with some favorites from Turkey and Lebanon. (Submitted)

Yalda’s name pays homage to Yalda, the longest night of the year celebrated by Persians around the world. The menu at Yalda focuses on Persian dishes, with some additional favorites from Turkey and Lebanon. Menu items will include Quail meze that is charred on the open grill and served with “Anar” sauce (a house-made sweet and sour pomegranate molasses); Sea Bream from the Mediterranean Sea stuffed with Turkish-style spinach, rice finishes and a Lemon Saffron vinaigrette. Freshly crafted cocktails and organic wines also will be on the menu.

Famili has nearly a decade of experience working with the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, specifically at Kyma. He assisted in the opening of Sufi’s in 2011 and has been responsible for developing middle eastern and Persian concepts for chefs and restaurants since 2014. His partner is his longtime friend, Farhan Kheraj.

The restaurant design will pay tribute to the ancient land, starting with the patio with large cedar lumber and beam with accents of nostalgic Ferforje (or Egyptian) style ironwork comprising the front gate and railings. The bright and airy interior features floor-to-ceiling windows and middle eastern inspired upholstery and hand-crafted tiles. An open kitchen is complemented by a spacious full bar and a large balcony, built to accommodate private events. 

Yalda in Aria Village will be open for both lunch and dinner. Hours of operation will be Tuesday-Thursday from 11:30 a.m. until 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. until 10:30 p.m.; Sunday from 11:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. and closed on Monday.

Yalda will have self-parking out front as well as in the center’s parking deck. Dine-in reservations will be accepted by phone or via Resy.com after the opening date is announced. The menu will be available for delivery via DoorDash and Uber Eats and to-go options. For more information, visit yaldaatl.com and on Instagram @yalda.atl.

Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Rough Draft Atlanta and Reporter Newspapers.