For all the Korean-Americans in the local food business (many of them owning Japanese and other Asian restaurants), there aren’t a lot of Korean restaurants on Long Island. The opening of a new one is a happy development, the more so because Narinatto is so appealing.
Located a few yards off Port Washington’s Main Street, Narinatto takes over the storefront that had been Coffeed and, before that, Sweet Comfort Bakery & Cafe. The restaurant, decorated with taste and whimsy, features a few small tables and one large, communal one that seats up to 16. Order at the counter and your food will be brought to you.
For now, the menu is brief, but owner Hyek Chen expects to expand in the near future. (He will also add beer and wine to the current drinks lineup of coffee, tea, smoothies, bubble tea and soft drinks.) Starters ($7 to $13) include savory pancakes filled with kimchi or scallion and homemade dumplings. Among mains ($12 to $18) are dolsot bibimbap (a scorching-hot bowl filled with rice, vegetables and meat), japchae (stir-fried noodles over rice), chicken katsu (fried cutlet) and bulgogi, thinly sliced beef served on a stone grill pan. There’s also ramen and udon ($11).
Chen ran Port Washington’s iDiner from 2009 to last year. What started out as a casual American eatery with a few Asian touches evolved into singular restaurant that also served homestyle Korean dishes and sushi. Chen signed Narinatto’s lease in 2018, but ran into a number of delays. Most recently, the standoff between National Grid and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo meant Chen could not turn on his gas. That issue was resolved in November and Chen was able to open earlier this month.
Narinatto is at 5B Irma Ave., Port Washington, 516-883-1913, narinatto.com.