Diwan to reopen in Port Washington
I was in Diwan in Hicksville the other night. I've always wondered whether this was the same establishment as the old Diwan in Port Washington, which closed years ago and has been replaced by a succession of failed restaurants (most recently Cinnamon Club). My wife and I were talking about Port Washington in general, and the waiter overheard us and mentioned that they were reopening in the same space (the old house on Shore Road (?) next to the pond. Evidently, they own the space and have rented it out over the years but decided to give it another try.
When we used to eat there, it was the best Indian around. What's interesting (and makes me very happy) is that there are now so many good Indian restaurants in Hicksville that this will be one of many. However, this will be the only good one in or near Port Washington, so I'm quite excited.
Diwan was always our favorite Indian restaurant in the area and we were so disappointed when they closed. We went there when they first reopened and were so disappointed. It was not anything like it used to be. However, my husband and I thought we'd give it another try last week and thank god we did. Everything was wonderful, exactly like it used to be. We spoke to the owner and he told us that there was a different chef when they reopened and they have since changed. Bobby, the owner, is now the chef again. The tandoori lamb chops were great again as were a couple of the curries and appetizers we tried. We went there again a couple of days later and again everything was delicious. I sincerely hope people will give it another chance as we did so that they don't have to go away again.
I went to Diwan last week for dinner with my wife. I had eaten at Diwan back in its previous life (15 years ago) and remember the Indian food as being quite good. This time around was an even more pleasant surprise. Dinner started with a cocktail for myself and a glass of wine for my wife. The cocktail was not the typically pathetic watered down, over-iced type most restauarants seem to serve these days (as if being stingy with a drink is how to boost margins...). The glass of wine was also generous.
For dinner I started with the mango tango salad, which was excellent - fresh, crisp, nice dressing. Our entrees were both curried dishes and both were excellent with large portions. The dessert menu is limited, and quite frankly, I'd probably suggest skipping it and heading over to the ice cream parlor on Manhasset Bay. BTW, the American Grill has been opened on the 2nd floor, and has an outside veranda that looks out onto the Bay. If you take kids and they haven't developed a taste for Indian yet, the American menu is also available to them which features standard grille fare.
After quite a long series of 'duds' at this location, Diwan has a very good shot at surviving and hopefully prospering. Although there is clearly a growing following and the 1st floor seemed to have a steady flow of traffic, it is only a matter of time before word gets out that Diwan is back.
I had a less then stellar, though incomplete meal there a few weeks ago. I wanted to eat at Harbor Q and was on the way when the family spotted the reopened Diwan and I was out voted. They did not have samosa chatt on the menu and after much prodding ( my kids love the dish) agreed to make it. it is a pretty basic and common dish I can't imagine why they don't make it. They then served us plain samosas and I was not in the mood to find the waiter and complain. The tandoori lamb chops were almost paper thin and the chiken tikka was fairly tasteless. The sauce was heavy on the cream with no seasoning that I could taste. Breads were fine. The place is very expensive, Indian Heritage is better food at that price point, so unless you live in Port and don't want to travel I think Floral Park a few minutes away has better options. It is not on my list of pre movie dining in Port Washington.
I am heading there today for lunch. I will post back.
By the way, Cinnimon Club was a few iterations ago. It was the Harbor View for at least a year or two - with the addition of a very pretty rooftop space. The food, however, was pricey and nothing special. As a Port resident, I am thrilled to have Diwan back! I hope they can stay alfoat in this economy.
Went there for lunch yesterday - first day of their lunch buffet. The food was good and very inexpensive. Pretty much your standard Indian lunch buffet fare - chicken makhanwala, goat curry, etc, but very fresh, hot and tasty and a lovely dining room. All the food - even the bread - was piping hot and clearly had just been made, vs. sitting around getting cold. Dinner menu looks simple and inexpensive, and they plan to open a family-friendly grille upstairs with kids' fare, burgers and lighter options.