Table for Two

Cuisine to ambiance — authentically Mediterranean

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Ayhan’s Shish Kebab

550 Sunrise Highway, Baldwin

(516) 223-1414

www.ayhansrestaurants.com

Celebrating its 10th year in Baldwin, Ayhan’s Shish Kebab was recently voted “Best of Long Island 2016” in the Greek restaurant category. The original Ayhan’s, which is now Fish on Main, opened 35 years ago in Port Washington. Great Neck and Plainview house the other two locations. Chefs at Ayhan’s Shish Kebab create authentic dishes inspired by Greece, Turkey, Israel, Cyprus and other Mediterranean regions.

We dined at Ayhan’s Shish Kebab in Baldwin, which is managed seamlessly by Sam Usmani. Service was friendly and attentive. Décor is festive and inviting – rendered Greek-style in crisp blue and white, brightened by tiny glistening lights. Booths and tables span three dining areas, perfect for in-house parties of all sizes, up to 250 guests.

Warm crusty bread arrived with creamy garlic sauce. For variety, I’d recommend the cold or hot starter samplers; you’ll get three appetizers on each. With several kinds of pita we enjoyed hummus (blended chick pea dip), babaganoush (roasted eggplant dip), grape leaves stuffed with herbed rice, and creamy Greek yogurt dip with walnuts. The hot sampler gave us spinach-feta pie, meat pie, and a crunchy cheese roll. Red lentil soup was steamy and flavorful. Greek salad was piled high with crumbled feta.

Kebabs on skewers have always been a favorite and each we tried – jumbo shrimp, salmon, chicken, filet mignon — was perfectly prepared, tender and well-seasoned, served on basmati rice with fresh mixed vegetables. Of the numerous homemade traditional desserts, we enjoyed flaky walnut baklava with a mound of cinnamon-dusted whipped cream.

The new menu has been streamlined to include dinners for $15 and $20. Platters - kebabs, chops, Moussaka, seafood, gyros, and sautéed dishes — include a Greek or Villager Salad, or choice of soup, and many include basmati rice pilaf or cracked wheat bulgur, and vegetables.  Soups, starters, wraps, pita sandwiches, and salad bowls are $5 to $10. Desserts are $5 to $9 for an eight-piece sampler. “Three Course Prixe Fixe & Wine” is $29.95 for a choice of soup, salad or appetizer, choice of entrée and dessert, and a glass of wine.

Check the website for frequent promotions and sign up for email coupons. Right now, kids eat free on Sunday from 4 to 8 p.m. (call for details). Sunday Brunch Buffet, served 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., is $9.95, including peel and eat shrimp, poached salmon, salads, desserts and more. Restaurant hours are 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Reservations are suggested and can be made by phone or online.

Recommendations:

■ Spinach & Feta Pie

■ Cheese Rolls

■ Meat Pie

■ Grape Leaves

■ Hummus

■ Babaganoush

■ Red Lentil Soup

■ Greek Salad

■ Salmon Kebab

■ Mignon Kebab

■ Shrimp Kebab

■ Chicken Kebab

■ Walnut Baklava