Azerbaijan native Gunel Aliyeva’s new restaurant, Caspian Corner, is a family business. Alieyeva’s brother, Abbas, is co-owner, and her mother, Sevinj, contributes dishes such as the pickled onion that accompanies Caspian Corner kebabs.
Caspian Corner, 663 Washington Road, opened this week in the space formerly occupied by Aspendos, a Turkish restaurant. While Alieyeva has some Turkish items on the menu—the coffee is phenomenal—she includes offerings from all across the region. In addition to Azerbaijan, the Caspian Sea borders Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran, and Azerbaijan shares borders with Turkey, Georgia, Iran and Armenia. Since Azerbaijan was once part of the Soviet Union, Aliyeva says the country’s cuisine also sees some European and Russian influence.
Popular menu items include Chicken Kiev; tabaka, a whole Cornish hen or trout marinated in Georgian spices; shah plov, a rice pilaf made with lamb and dried fruit; and lula kebab, grilled lamb served with sliced red onion and parsley.
Caspian Corner is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week, takeout or eat-in. 412-561-2330. Look for more information in the July/August issue of Mt. Lebanon Magazine.