New York Daily Photo Analytics

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Rice and Riches

This is Rice to Riches at 37 Spring Street. Click here for more photos. This is a story which will surprise you in many ways. First, there's that "only in New York" aspect - where could you expect to run a successful business selling exclusively gourmet rice pudding? In fact, the owner, Peter Moceo Jr., had difficulty renting: ''landlords refused to rent to me, because they didn't see how I could pay the rent selling rice pudding.'' This shop was started in 2003 by Moceo, who grew up in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Inspired by the gelaterias on a trip to Italy, he has created a place with an immaculate decor and meticulous attention to detail: a large window shape like a grain of rice, several flat screen monitors playing pudding animations, curved walls, illuminated plastic orange and white tables, custom reusable containers (including their own spoons), and beautiful pudding display & serving counter. And then, of course, there is the rice pudding itself - superb and highly rated. Jemal Edwards, once a pastry chef at Montrachet and Nobu, has created 18 flavors of the pudding in the custom basement kitchen, a place that Moceo spent a year putting together. The biggest surprise? The owner, a resident of Trump Tower, was arrested in 2005 for running a $21 million sports gambling ring, one of the country's largest. Only in New York...

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's a lot of rice pudding you have to sell to pay the rent on that location...

Velvet Sea said...

the rice pudding there, while good, is soooo expensive. even so, i don't see how they stay in business since i'm sure their rent is pretty high in that location and obviously they've spent a ton designing the store and the thick plastic serving bowls and spoons seem like they would be costly themselves. it does seem to be on the tourist radar, maybe it's in a guidebook somewhere.

Brian said...

Well, it appears that the owner has/had other sources of income, so if necessary he could easily float this place. Money laundering has been alleged but as far as I know, nothing concluded.
Brian

Kristen said...

Only in New York... so true!

Anonymous said...

I must cook baked rice again soon.
Shows anything is possible. What about the giant kangaroos discovered here and its Australia day today !

DwD said...

would love to try their rice puddings! =D
how much is it for one cup??
i love the design too!

Anonymous said...

That place sucks. It is too expensive and not that good. Go once for the novelty, but you probably won't be itching to go back.

Brian said...

Honestly , the one time I sampled the rice pudding there, I found it too "over the top." Maybe it was the strong flavor - I don't remember what I had. Seemed a little over processed also. Maybe I'll try a very simple flavor again (?)
Brian

Linda said...

Rice to Riches has the BEST rice pudding I've ever come in contact with. I was thinking of it this morning as I made my own batch of vanilla quinoa pudding. Gee -- thinking about it really makes me want to go to R2R this moment.

juinshii said...

I was watching Hitch the movie a few days ago, and they had a scene which was filmed there! Hm...im not sure if rice pudding is my thing tho..heh

Anonymous said...

this guy is amobster, if you didnt know