Tahdig (rice crust from the bottom of the pot) at...

Tahdig (rice crust from the bottom of the pot) at Colbeh in Roslyn. Newsday photo / Erica Marcus (July 26, 2010) Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus

They can read your mind at Colbeh in Roslyn. At least they did mine last night. Perusing the menu I was drawn to the tahdig appetizer. Tahdig (which means “bottom of the pot” in Farsi) refers to the crust left on the bottom of the rice-cooking or potato-cooking pot. Here it was basmati rice, the glory of the Persian kitchen table, served topped with “the stew of the day.” But I was on my own, and had already committed, mentally, to a salad and a kebab which would be more than enough. I didn’t order the tahdig.

But then the waiter brought it to me anyway, along with my salad! The tahdig!

The very fine basmati rice was indeed crusty in places, but tender in others. The tangy stew was made from herbs and beef and garnished with red kidney beans. It was delicious.

My Shirazi salad (chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, onion) was forgettable, but the joujeh kebab was outstanding: grilled, bone-in chunks of baby chicken that were improbably moist, permeated with some sort of wonderful lemony marinade.

Something sweet might be nice, I thought as I asked for the check. Whereupon the telepathic waiter brought me a small plate of sliced melon.

Colbeh is at 1 The Invervale, Roslyn, 516-621-2200.

The tahdig at Colbeh in Roslyn