Sunday, June 1, 2008

Holy Rice-A-Roni!

Rice is a restaurant that I think is suffering from multiple personality disorder. Located in the heart of Curry Hill, I always presumed it was an Indian restaurant. Then, one time when I actually stopped to glance at the menu, I also saw a few Thai dishes. So, I thought to myself, ok, maybe Rice is one of those Pan-Asian restaurants. When I finally went there for diner one night, my friend and I quickly discovered that even that broad category wouldn’t cover all of the types of dishes that Rice has on its menu. This was going to be hard for me to classify for this post! There were Mexican, French, and Lebanese items too! Now I get it…this restaurant includes cuisines in which rice places a big part.

It took us about 20 minutes to figure out what to order. So many dishes sounded really good. We started with the steamed vegetable dumplings and they were delicious. I absolutely love dumplings, but a lot of the times, they are just mediocre with indiscernible vegetables inside and a generic dipping sauce. Rice’s dumplings were freshly made with visible vegetables and were great on their own. Dipped in the sauce, they were even better! The soy-based sauce was so flavorful…a little bit sweet, a little bit tangy.

Next up, we got the Asian slaw, which consisted of shredded cabbage and carrots, sautéed arame seaweed, edamame, toasted sesame seeds, lotus roots, and Asian carrot ginger dressing. We only got a small, but next time I would order that just for myself because it was so good. Really crunchy, fresh veggies and a fantastic dressing.

Now onto our own dishes. I ordered the Mexican chicken soup with avocado, tomato, corn, rice and cilantro. When they served it, I got nervous I made a bad choice because it looked so simple and bordered on boring. But, I was really surprised how hearty this soup was, even though it was just a chicken stock. The corn was really fresh, and it was an interesting twist having avocado actually in the soup. The broth was very flavorful and had a pretty good kick to it. Luckily, I ended up pretty happy with the dish.

My friend ordered the ratatouille, a traditional French stew with zucchini, eggplant, red peppers, and onions. It came with a choice of rice: Japanese, Basmati, brown, and sticky. I tried her ratatouille with brown rice. Having had the dish in France, I can say it wasn’t quite the traditional recipe, but it was really good.

The restaurant itself is sleek and modern and is great for people watching on the main Curry Hill intersection. The lighting fixtures have burlap bags of (what else!) rice as the lampshades…a really creative touch! The service was friendly and fast. Our waitress was really helpful in navigating us through the different cuisines and types of rice on the menu. I am eager to go back to Rice so I can try out more of the dishes, more of the varieties of rice, and more of the ethnic cuisines featured on the menu. Multiple personalities or not, Rice is like a little trip around the world all from convenient Curry Hill/Gramercy location!

Rice
115 Lexington Avenue
@ 28th Street
website
Menu Pages listing

2 comments:

Marisa said...

and don't forget! if you want to take out, it's cheaper than eating in :)

and next time we need to order the dish you were accidentally served at first!

sydesliker said...

totally always wondered about that place..gotta admit i am surprised it is still around. if airline prices ever drop i need to work on getting up there!