In a downtown such as Peterborough's, which is known for having one of the best varieties of locally owned restaurants around, one might think a newcomer to the industry would shy away from starting from scratch right in the middle of it all. But if risks weren't taken in the restaurant world, we wouldn't have the chance to experience a wonderful restaurant like Ariyana, opened by Mina Monsef and located at 396 George St N.
Ariyana brings with it one of the few cuisines that was truly missing from our amazing downtown, that being Middle Eastern! Upon opening on April 30th of this year, the restaurant serves a wide array of meat, vegetarian, vegan, and even gluten free dishes which actually comprise 90% of the menu.
A few specialties they serve are Vaziri Ghaimeh (a chicken skewar and beef kebab with all the fixings), and Ghormeh Sazbi—which are absolute Middle Eastern delights for those who have never had a chance to experience them. Local menu favourites have turned out to be the Shawarma plate and sandwich which is served in a pita, and the eggplant and falafel dishes which are a vegetarian's dream!
Mina and her staff have absolutely loved and appreciated the reception they have been given from the very day they opened. They love all of the businesses that surround them and wouldn't want to be located anywhere but in the heart of the city (they're close to the corner of Hunter and George St.). They say the support has almost been overwhelming.
Growing up in Peterborough, Mina has known the joy of the community she calls home, and has done her part to get as involved as possible. Ariyana took part in Ribfest this year, and were the first entry ever to serve halal meat at the event. They also been approached by the ReFrame Film Festival to take part by serving many of their delicious dishes to spice up the variety!
Being locally connected to the New Canadians Centre, Red Pashmina Campaign (which is partly run by her sister Maryam) and our local Mosque has given Mina plenty of support in her decision to open Ariyana and the downtown core is thankful she made that choice.
If you haven't had the chance to check it out, we suggest you give Ariyana a try. It will truly open your eyes to another example of cuisine that is truly unique in our dowtown.