RIMTIN

>> Thursday, June 7, 2018

RIMTIN
104-02 Metropolitan Avenue
Forest Hills, NY 11375
(718) 674-6503


Where once sat Queen's only Michelin-starred restaurant, Danny Brown, now sits Rimtin, an upscale but casual Mediterranean spot. Open for about a year, Rimtin is long past the point of finding and ironing out any opening-day wrinkles and sculpting the most appropriate menu. Lutsy and I have had it on our shortlist for quite some time, and we finally got around to going. And I wish they had hired me on as a consultant first. 


The interior of Rimtin is a decidedly nice one and on the surface, they would appear to have done everything right. But there are all of these tiny mistakes that add up and are especially odd given how this isn't the owner's first restaurant. Rimtin only just got a liquor license, so there's no wine list. They just ask you what varietal you'd like a glass of. That's fine, but it's been a year and the central design element is a big fancy bar area. There's no website, which would be fine fifteen years ago, but is just bizarre these days. There isn't any music playing, so unless the whole place is busy, your conversation is projected for all to hear. The bathroom is clean, but once you pay attention, you see that it's been painted very sloppily. In the dining area, the left side of the room has bright lighting while the right side is shrouded in darkness, which is completely nonsensical. For some reason there's a television on the back wall, which I suppose could be for... I dunno, ESPN?



Once we placed our order the waitress, who was extremely nice, brought out a warm basket of delicious bread and some olive oil, which was promptly devoured. We ordered two appetizers to share, Stuffed Grape Leaves and Zucchini Pancakes. The grape leaves were a must-order. Once I saw them on the menu there wasn't even a conversation to be had. And they were good. Very good. Sweet and light, with a little tartness from the lemon juice, I can safely say that they were a good choice. Far and away better than anything you'd get at a supermarket. The zucchini pancakes were also good, but not at the same level. They were a little too charred for my taste and relied too heavily on the yogurt sauce to have much flavor. But for a fried dish, they didn't feel fatty and I enjoyed the illusion of eating something healthy.



We both opted for lamb entrees, as lamb tends to be a bit more rare on restaurant menus. I really don't understand this, as Americans love beef, and lamb is quite beefy, but such is life. Lutsy got the Adana Kebab, a pair of ground lamb cylinders served with a scoop of rice pilaf, a small side salad, a grilled pepper, and half of a grilled tomato.  The other half of that grilled tomato found its way onto my plate, the Lamb Shish, which is quite literally the exact same dish but with cubed lamb instead of ground lamb. The adana kebab was too dry, which resulted in a rather flat taste, so I don't really recommend that one. The lamb shish (kebab) was, on the other hand, quite good. Tender, medium rare, flavorful.

Both dishes had an optional side of yogurt, which we both went for. I shit you not, Rimtin gives you what appears to be two cups of yogurt. Therefore, our meal included four cups of yogurt. Unless you plan on taking it home to throw granola in come morning, I highly discourage ordering this particular supplement.


We both enjoyed our experience at Rimtin, and I fully plan to return and try the chicken and other dishes offered here, but this leads me to my final critique. I know that when I do so, I'll get a small side salad, a tomato, a pepper, and some rice pilaf. And that's fine. But it's not better than fine and it will never be better than fine. Because it's lazy. Am I asking too much because this is Queens, not Manhattan? No, and fuck you for saying that and fuck you for giving outer-borough restaurateurs reasons to go to Brooklyn instead. 

In the end, I like Rimtin and they can expect to see more of my money in the future. They're a comfortable spot with lovely staff, a decent kitchen, and they are relatively inexpensive. But I'd like to see some imagination on the menu, to be handed a decent wine list, to hear some music on the speakers, and maybe one day they can get around to fixing the lighting.

Expect to pay around $10 for an appetizer and $20 for an entree, on average.Rimtin is not on OpenTable.

3 comments:

Susan W June 7, 2018 at 7:30 PM  

I love your posts and we often seem to be on the same page. But I am so tired of mediocre. When we do get an exceptional restaurant (e.g., Danny Brown's, Wafa's), they find reason to pack up shop for a more trendier locale. Make me wonder where in LIC or Brooklyn Tazzina will find it's new location.

Laura June 8, 2018 at 8:51 AM  

Thanks for the review! I've been curious about this place.

I was disappointed you did not include a pic of the yogurt side dish! You left us hanging there after describing how exaggeratedly large the portion was. Would have liked to see a pic.

Jon Parker June 19, 2018 at 10:28 PM  

Laura. Picture a cereal bowl of yogurt.

Susan, no comment. I was thinking the same thing.

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