Before we get into this, let me preface this review by saying that we liked Rye quite a bit. It's a solid restaurant with good food and nice people. But answer us this one question: How far will this old timey New York restaurant thing go? Rye is a Williamsburg clone of Prime Meats, another restaurant meant to evoke a time when they put bitters and witch hazel in cocktails to fight off the polio. You know when we're really going to be impressed? When someone opens a joint in Fort Greene with no running water or electricity. I want to have dinner in a restaurant with no bathroom, just a chamber pot next to each table. That's f*cking old school.
Cranky observations aside, Rye is pretty great. The concept is definitely getting played out, but they did a good job with the place, and almost everything we ate was tasty and satisfying - particularly the sandwiches on the menu. The meatloaf sandwich is quickly becoming what the restaurant is known for, and the pork belly on a soft roll is like a big Americanized pork bun - fatter and cockier than it's little Japanese cousin, and it loves freedom. Our only complaint is that the entrees can seem anti-climactic after the excellent starters and salads. Then again we probably shouldn't have been eating sandwiches as starters in the first place.
Those are four words that we get fired up over. A beautiful soft bun with short rib, onion jam, and horseradish. Dense, sticky and amazing. This might be our favorite sandwich in the house.
Another incredibly good sandwich. Fatty, crispy pork belly with cole slaw and a mustard sauce. The tangy mustard cuts the fat just enough. This will touch you in a way that few edible things can/should.
The celebrated star of the menu, this thing is messy, enormous, and delicious. Unless you are ravenously hungry, split it with someone - there's a half pound of meatloaf in there.
This was a really nice, fresh beet salad. That is, it was nice until my friend decided to tell me about some freak disease called pine mouth, at the exact moment that I was eating a pine nut from the plate. Google it.
One huge ravioli in a bowl with some cheese and a mushroom broth. Skip this.
It's well known that pretty much everything from Colorado is awesome, so I was surprised to find this piece of meat a little tough. Hit the hangar steak instead.
Places like this all seem to have a good roast chicken on the menu, and that's true in this case as well. Honestly this could have been the best entree we ate at Rye.