In December, Marie Michele Destil finally cleared all the hurdles to open Gingerbites, a Haitian catering-takeout spot in Huntington Station. She immediately began the even more grueling process of gathering the necessary permits to turn it into an eat-in restaurant serving beer and wine.
Now Gingerbites is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday to Sunday, the neat little dining room a welcome respite from the bustle of Jericho Turnpike.
With influences from the Caribbean, Africa, France and Spain, Haitian cuisine is a true fusion. Destil’s menu features appetizers, $6.50 to $12.50, such as fried akra croquettes (made from malanga, a tropical root); plantain cups stuffed with sausage, peppers and onion; festival fries (fried sweet potatoes, yucca and breadfruit). Mains, $12.50 to $19, include griot, fried cubes of pork; kribich nan sòs, Creole shrimp stew; and fritay, fried cubes of pork, sweet potatoes, breadfruit, plantains, akra and sausage. Most dishes come with fried plantains, long-grain rice and beans, as well as homemade pikliz, a spicy pickled vegetable relish.
There’s brunch on Sunday from noon to 3 p.m., and a lunch special Tuesday to Thursday when you can get stewed chicken, turkey or griot with rice and beans and fried plantains for $8.99.
Destil named the restaurant after her favorite seasoning. Even though ginger is not a traditional Haitian seasoning, Destil uses it (freshly grated, never powdered) in many of her dishes.
Gingerbites is at 730 E. Jericho Tpke., Huntington Station; 631-427-2483, gingerbitescatering.com