Aria Afghan - Persian Kingston NY
Aria has only been open for 30 days, located on Broadway in Kingston directly across from the entrance to the UPAC theater. I have been there twice in the last 10 days with two different groups of friends and the food has been excellent. The sign outside says Afghan - Persian Kebab house and there are many different type of grilled items on the menu. So far we have had the chicken kofta, lamb kebab, steak and beef Kofta, you have your choice of different types of birani rice to go with these. The owner Zahil suggested the orange pilau and it was so good I had to have it again. Aside from the orange, there is saffron, currents, sliced almonds and even some capers, very very good.
I also ordered an entree called Ashak which is meat dumplings, sort of like Afghan ravioli, very thin wrappers, and a sauce made from yellow lentils, yogurt, meat, tomato and spices.
There is no liquor license so its BYOB and they supplied very nice wine glasses for the bottle we brought.
Could not resist trying their rose water flavored rice pudding (Firney) for dessert and I thought it was one of the better versions of that I have had in years.
In speaking to Zahil I learned that his family is Afghan, Aria is the original name of Afganistan, and that the chef who has 40 years of experience is Persian ( Iranian). They will be adding specials to the menu and I was urging them to make some Persian dishes which are fantastic and I have not found anywhere in the NY area. I have only had Persian food in Frankfurt and Los Angeles and it is a wonderful and sophisticated cuisine.
Very friendly excellent service in a nice comfortable room with high ceilings and the prices are quite reasonable. both times we got out of there for $20 per person before the tip.
We were passing through Kingston on a road trip in early January and I convinced the rest of my party that we should try Afghan/Persian food at Atria. I'm happy to report that our meal there was one of the highlights of the trip. The owner was very helpful, and he took considerable time in explaining the variety of dishes to us. It's safe to say that we were all sold on the place after just tasting the salad, which was served with a yogurt sauce with mint and dill. I recommend the appetizers. We had an eggplant dish and 2 pastries: one of butternut squash (I think) and one of scallions. For main dishes, we had a couple of plates of the kabob assortment, one kabob of salmon, and one eggplant dish. Each of them was fantastic. We tried a couple of different types of the rice, and although we liked all of them, our favorite was the fragrant, slightly sweet orange rice with pistachio nuts. I also recommend the yogurt mango drink. I don't remember the proper name, but it beat every mango shake I've ever made or bought. My only regret about Aria Grill is that it's far from my home. But I know my wife and I will plan another trip that includes a stop in Kingston for a meal here. Highly recommended.