Yes, this IS the place from the Will Smith movie Hitch! Rice to Riches, located at 37 Spring Street, between Mott and Mulberry streets in lower Manhattan, is a landmark which specializes in Rice Pudding.
Every time I’m in NYC, someone always suggests that we go to Rice to Riches, to which I reply with a big, fat, “NO.” But, I have my reasons…
When I was a senior in high school, I got a job a local nursing home working in the dining room for the independent living residents. We offered a couple of staple desserts every night, one of the always being pudding: Chocolate, Vanilla, and RICE. I’ve been eating chocolate pudding my whole life, and I never really cared for vanilla, but the only association I’ve ever had with rice pudding is ‘nursing home.’ So, you can understand my disgust for a dish that I never actually tried.
But everyone raved how great R2R was, so on my last trip to NYC, I gave in and made a solo trip (so if I didn’t like it, no one had to feel bad about dragging me there).
To say that I was pleasantly surprised is an understatement. It was DELICIOUS. As it was my first trip, I tried something basic: chocolate, or ‘Milk Chocolate Only Rings Twice’. Now, I was expecting traditional chocolate pudding flavor. WRONG. It tasted like soft chocolate ice cream. I was mad at myself for not getting a bigger order.
R2R offers a lot of different flavors, most of which change daily, along with a variety of toppings. Something for everyone, if you will. And, on top of it all, the actual restaurant is great, with super modern seating, and snarky signs everywhere (see below). Needless to say, I’ll be back.