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Sur in Huntington: First bites

Paella alla Valenciana is served at Sur Argentinian

Paella alla Valenciana is served at Sur Argentinian Steak House in Huntington in March 2014. Credit: Newsday / Peter Gianotti

The colorful cuisine of Argentina arrived in Huntington in 2007 with the opening of the three-star Cafe Buenos Aires. Now comes Sur Argentinian Steakhouse in the space long occupied by Canterbury Ale House.

Two restaurants within blocks of each other, they make downtown Argentina central on an island where the cookery isn't widely represented.

Sur is the offspring of Tango Argentinian Steakhouse in Central Islip. It's a more upscale version of the original, bringing along many of the popular dishes.

What's also striking is the transformation of the menu. Farewell to Scotch egg and Cornish pastie, bangers and mash and steak-and-kidney pie. Here comes enough grilled meat to upend the county's collective cholesterol level.

But Argentina's cooking is a remarkable mix of influences, several evident here. One of the better main dishes is a respectable paella alla Valenciana; another, rack of New Zealand lamb. So far, however, the overall results are as mixed as the house's parrillada. Examples: dry empanadas; unevenly cooked bacon-wrapped dates. Service is friendly, but it can be erratic when all the tables are full.

The sangria flows and Sur certainly is festive. You just need to be selective. Appetizers are $9 to $12; main courses, $18 to $42.

Sur Argentinian Steakhouse, 314 New York Ave., Huntington; 631-470-6300.