B, Q at Newkirk Ave.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Caton Ave. to Ave. O, E. 15th St. to E. 4th St.
In the middle of a largely Pakistani restaurant strip along Coney Island, Bahar offers a traditional Afghan take on Central Asian cookery, with dishes more subtle and intricate than the fiery fare from its regional neighbor. The only aggressive note in the tidy room, decorated with teak dividers, tapestries, and a classic National Geographic portrait of a young Afghan woman, is the beat of contemporary bhangra music. Hot and fluffy Afghan bread opens the meal, accompanied by a squirt bottle of savory yogurt spread. A host of appetizer dumplings filled with spiced pumpkin, scallions, mashed potatoes or combinations of the above, and resembling flattened samosas, are crispy, molten morsels; tangy kebabs (chicken, lamb and beef), tinged pinkish with marinade and well-charred, work nicely with the almond- and white raisin-dotted biryani. Chicken simmered in pomegranate juice and walnuts is a sweet and sour delight, available as an appetizer or main course, and eggplant with yogurt sauce is reminiscent of great eggplant Parmigiana. Loads of vegetarian options, as well as vegetable dishes served as both appetizers and sides, make it appealing to order a dozen small plates as a dining sampler, although without at least one kebab, a trip here is incomplete.Recommended Dishes
Pumpkin turnover, $5.95; eggplant with yogurt sauce, $5.95; chicken with pomegranates and walnuts, $12.95