ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — In Rochester’s Village Gate is Chortke, a restaurant that started out as Persian fast casual. But five months ago, they closed to re-open with a new concept. They now focus on higher-end fusion food, with a special emphasis on steak.

They are open Tuesdays through Saturdays. Co-owner Yasha Aghdasi said when they opened, it was about Persian cuisine, and getting to know Rochester.

“We wanted to understand Rochester’s tastebuds,” he said. “What their favorite things are, and what we need to do to kind of change things up.”

To do that, he brought in a new team, led by now Executive Head Chef Josh Lester, to change the old:

“When he originally opened, he had more of the fast concept in mind, I always referred to him as middle fusion of Chipotle,” he said. This new concept is a sit-down but still keeps fresh ingredients and ideas from around the world. “I’m featuring things like wagyu steak, four-pound steaks, stuff that you can’t find anywhere else in Rochester, then bringing his elevated flair to it.”

The food:

Along with the new food is the new breathtaking interior, all of it designed by Aghdasi’s wife Rana Rezaei, an industrial designer by way of RIT.

“Everything over here is handmade, (it’s) very natural, (with) natural material,” she said. “I wanted to create something that matches the menu and the environment.”

Chortke’s new interior has worldwide elements, like Moroccan tile and the fountain, to Brazilian tile, and other Middle Eastern features.

The look:

Agahdasi says that with this menu and atmosphere, eating here should feel like home, even if it feels like you’re transported to a whole new world.

“We want to make sure you have a homey feel when you walk in here, and at the same time, you’ll enjoy a beautiful night out, a memorable night out,” he said.