The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.
There’s always a moment of indecision when making plans to meet vegan friends for dinner. They usually say not to worry, that they’ll find something to eat on any menu. But, being the accommodating type — and the one always charged with picking a restaurant — I still run through mental lists of places with good entrees for these dairy-free, meat-free, hard-to-eat-out-with eaters.
Last night, we decided to explore the menu at Ariana Restaurant in Huntington, which bills its food as “Afghan Fusion Cuisine.” True to a huge banner outside the charming place on Main Street, there is a vegan menu with 10 choices on it, in addition to a vegetarian menu and one with plenty of the kebabs and other grilled meats indigenous to the cuisine.
After a beautiful tabbouleh salad, mounded on a plate and topped with a salty black olive, I transitioned into Curry Gardens, assorted vegetables, such as carrots and zucchini, sauteed in a light curry sauce and served inside (and overflowing) a roasted acorn squash ($22.95). My friend ordered an eggplant special, roasted until nicely slack and then topped with a hot black bean dressing.
I almost converted.
Other dishes on the vegan list include grilled Portobello mushrooms, brown rice risotto with mung beans and falafel balls, and house-made dumplings filled with leeks and herbs. Most prices are in the $20 area for main courses and include soup or salad.
Ariana Restaurant is at 255 Main St, Huntington, 631-421-2933, arianacafe.com.