Eating authentically prepared food lets you taste the very essence of a country and draws far fewer angry glares than chewing on its national flag. Experience the exoticism without the faux pas with today’s Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of Afghani-inspired dinner fare at Ariana Restaurant in Huntington.
Armed with 15 years of innovative flavor combinations and traditional Afghani fare, Ariana Restaurant besieges taste-bud boredom with exciting menu dwellers concocted into house favorites or Afghani specialties. Aushak kadu's homemade ravioli cushion their delicate pumpkin interiors with a slathering of traditional meat sauce, yogurt, and mint ($19.95), and the kechri qouroot’s mini meatballs play flavor soccer with chickpeas on a playground of brown risotto ($19.95). Ariana's vegan menu provides plant-based sustenance in style, piling on spinach power with herbed sabzi chalaw ($19.95) and proving eggplants are to stomachs as cucumbers are to puffy eyes with banjan buranee ($19.95). Unfold the dessert menu to place a mellifluous cap on any meal, either literally with the baklava ($6) or figuratively with mango-and-rosewater ice cream ($6).
Husband-and-wife team Ali and Nazifa acquaint American palates with Afghan flavors through accessible fusion fare—with many vegan options—that has caught the printed eye of the New York Times. Cushion-covered benches grant comfort, and glasses of wine complement entrees. The eatery’s framed art hangs on exposed-brick walls instead of over an art museum’s embarrassingly outdated Chuck Norris poster.