Kazan, Port Washington: First bites

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The "Navruz" salad at Kazan in Port Washington virtually pops on the palate. (Nov., 2012) Photo Credit: Newsday Joan Reminick

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The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.

Kazan Authentic Central Asian Cuisine in Port Washington serves the food of Uzbekistan, formerly a republic within the Soviet Union. A recent visit  proved an eye-opener.

The space, under the same ownership as its predecessor, Innuendo, is strikingly attractive, its walls hung with rich Oriental rugs. Suspended from the ceiling is a complex wood sculpture of interlocking cubes, a holdover the prior incarnation. Somehow, it works. Leather upholstered seating is way more plush than one would expect at a place with such moderate prices.

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But it was the food that really impressed. One standout: the hearty, vibrant soup called logmahn, filled with bright vegetables, beef and noodles ($7). Another winner: the “Navruz” salad of radishes, cucumbers, scallions and dill in a creamy dressing ($7), a dish that virtually pops on the palate.  A salmon kebab ($7) featured light, crisp chunks of fish that were moist and spicy-sweet on the inside.  A lush house-made napoleon ($7), similar to an icebox cake, deserved better than the dull aerosol whipped cream sharing the plate.

Kazan Authentic Central Asian Cuisine is at 75 Main St., Port Washington, 516-439-4444.

Above: The "Navruz" salad at Kazan, Port Washington

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