Ayhan’s is a secret gem in Plainview, right in the center of the Plainview Shopping Center. I’ve gone to the restaurant with my family for all of my life, and it feels comforting every time I walk in through the doors. Ayhan’s is a Mediterranean restaurant decorated with Greek murals, window panels, greenery, and plenty of white Christmas lights all over. It sounds tacky and distasteful, and some people do think so, but I think it surprisingly works very well with the interior, and ironically gives Ayhan’s a classier and more sophisticated vibe. The restaurant is large with plenty of seating, but it’s not uncommon for the place to be packed for dinner. It’s never overwhelmingly packed such that it feels suffocating, but rather it feels like a good and busy restaurant.
The kitchen is open, the bar is to the side, and the overall formatting of the interior makes for a very comfortable atmosphere. There is a private room in the back that commonly hosts small reunions, birthday parties, or even business meetings. The staff is very friendly, easygoing, and professional. Their Sunday Brunch is well-advertised and pretty good, although I prefer the sit-down waiting service.
Food has never disappointed me at Ayhan’s, from their gyros to kebabs. I usually get shrimp kebab skewers over arugula salad, but I’ve also switched between lamb gyro platters and falafel platters. The lemon avgolemeno soup is great, although I think it’s gotten less great throughout the years. Their whole fish is noteworthy, especially their Bronzino. The lamb gyro is excellent, and overall I would say that everything there has truthfully made me happy.
The restaurant is good for all sorts of situations — family dinners, business meetings, casual but cute dates. There is a wonderful flow to the restaurant that I’ve always loved, and an inescapable smoothness in service and atmosphere. I’m always surprised that I don’t hear about Ayhan’s more often, but I suppose people usually don’t think of walking in when they pass by the restaurant. Perhaps, amidst the Plainview Shopping Center, people simply don’t notice the place.
The outdoor seating is pretty nice in the summer, although some people get bothered by the fact that there are people constantly passing by as they walk through the plaza.
Overall, I can’t say anything bad about Ayhan’s. It may be due to years of bias from being a regular customer with my family, but Ayhan’s is one of the better restaurants in Plainview. Plus, you can never go wrong with white yogurt sauce.