Nazifa Kakar Rahimi has gone through a lot of changes in the past year. First, the death of her longtime husband and partner in Ariana, the charming 21-year-old Afghan spot on Main Street in Huntington. Then, the challenge of figuring out how to keep the restaurant vital without him.
Rahimi’s decision was to finesse the direction of the kitchen and update the dining room.
Alongside its traditional Afghan menu, Ariana has always offered a wide range of dishes for vegan and vegetarian diners. Now, Rahimi has added organic beef burgers. Subtitled “CraftBurger by Ariana,” the restaurant is putting out creative burgers alongside such classics as bolanee — potato, leeks and herb-filled turnovers — and mashawa soup with mung beans.
“This is something for the neighborhood, for the young generation,” Rahimi said of the new burger menu. “We still have all the same vegetarian, vegan and Afghan choices on the menu, but now people can share both at the same table.”
Rahimi also remodeled the restaurant and put in a full-size bar, where late-nighters can linger over a burger and a beer.
On the five-burger menu is the Classic Burger, with two 7-ounce patties braised in beer, served with caramelized onion and cheese of choice on a bun from Huntington’s Reinwald’s Bakery. It costs $19. On a recent night there were special burgers made with swordfish and even one with chopped raw fish.
CraftBurger by Ariana is at 255 Main St., Huntington; 631-421-2933, arianacafe.com