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Rice Restaurant — Affordable Global Meals Based on Rice, A DUMBO Institution

The Price at Rice is Nice

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Rice, a small restaurant in DUMBO, Brooklyn, is based on a novel mix-and-match concept. It specializes in eclectic dishes from different international cuisines--all based on different varieties of rice. Try the Indian curry with Persian rice or Thai black rice with a chicken kebab. There’s also a range of non-rice-o-centric dishes.

Brunch at Rice

Brunch at Rice can be fun, especially in warm weather, when you can sit outside in the modest back patio.

Start with a mimosa. Then treat yourself to a $4 retro breakfast, a bowl of Rice Krispie cereal with bananas. Or, indulge in coconut French toast. Explore world cuisine with congee, a “traditional Chinese breakfast of savory rice with hot with grilled shrimp, fresh herbs and sesame chili oil." Or, go Mexican with chilaquile breakfast of toasted tortillas sautéed in tangy sauce with a couple of fried eggs and avocado.

Look for specials, such as the $15 prix fixe brunch (an entree, one side, coffee or tea, and OJ or mimosa) and the $20 bottomless glass brunch, with endless mimosa refills. With these specials, and an average brunch entrée under $10, the price is nice at Rice.

Dinner at Rice

The concept behind Rice — rice-based dishes from around the world — certainly has a global appeal. Many of the entrees are tasty, and the small, fusion style decor is appealing.

It's a good local bet for lunch and a dinner, though portions are not huge.

Entrees that will "stick to your bones" include warm lentil stew and vegetarian meatballs. The satay is tasty. Try the Vietnamese take on chicken salad; the addition of lemongrass and deletion of mayo is transformative.

Rice's menu, the brainchild of owner David Selig, features rice-based dishes that are European, African, South American, Indian and Caribbean in origin. Different kinds of rices are used as well, including black rice, white rice, brown rice, red rice, green rice and sticky rices, each infusing the dishes with a different flavor. The attitude behind this original take on world cuisine is summed up thus: "Relax and enjoy the world – one grain at a time."

At A Glance

More about Rice:

  • Name: RICE (www.riceny.com)
  • Address: 81 Washington Street bet. Front and York Streets
  • Tel: 222-9880
  • Price range: $$
  • Brunch Hours: Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 P.M.
  • Check out the little patio for outdoor dining.

While the cuisine is fun and the ambiance hip, a word to the wise: A NYC Department of Health rating in 2011 suggests the need for some remediation. In 2011, Rice was one of just a handful of the 300 restaurants in this zip code to receive a "C" grade. Check the NYC Department of Health ratings. (Here's how.) Hopefully, things will improve.

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