Restaurant Review: RameNesque
With two locations in beautiful Westchester County, New York, RameNesque serves up delicious and vegan-friendly appetizers, rice bowls, and ramen in a variety of tempting flavors. Chef and owner, Nikki Lee, is committed to using healthy, wholesome ingredients (no MSG here!) and also chooses to use compostable take-out containers. My partner and I consider ourselves very lucky to live so close to the Peekskill location, where we know a bowl of hot, flavorful vegan ramen is only minutes away!
Though the menu at RameNesque isn’t entirely vegan, there are a nice variety of vegan offerings to sample. Thankfully, the majority of the vegan menu items are clearly marked as such, minimizing confusion about ingredients. The setting at both locations is casual and a bit funky, service is reliable and friendly, and the chef frequently comes out into the dining room to chat with guests, which is always a pleasure. Dining at RameNesque is a cozy, comfortable experience.
First up – appetizers! There are two great options that my partner and I regularly rotate between. The Vegetarian Gyoza (don’t worry, they’re vegan – I’ve checked!) are delectable pan-fried dumplings filled with cabbage, tofu, green onions, and fresh ginger, served with a savory dipping sauce. These are so tasty, we’ve been known to place a double order!
Sushi is offered on the menu at RameNesque’s Thornwood location, so we’ll occasionally make the longer drive to try one of their vegan sushi options. Their Sweet Potato Roll is a favorite – just be sure to ask for it without eel sauce to keep it kind and compassionate.
As a tea lover, I appreciate the loose-leaf tea strainers and large, comfortable glass mugs at RameNesque. Genmaicha, or Japanese green tea with roasted rice, is a great accompaniment for many menu items. Alcoholic beverages – several varieties of sake, wine, and craft beer – are served at the Peekskill location only.
And now on to the entrees! I would be remiss if I didn’t immediately discuss RameNesque’s crowning achivement – their delicious ramen. Nearly every variety on the menu can be made vegan, starting with the broth (shiitake and kombu-infused) to the variety, including Shoyu, Miso, and Ni-Niku (roasted garlic). My partner is a big fan of the Thai-inspired Tom Yum ramen – the broth tingles with spice and the tang of kaffir lime leaves, providing a beautiful base for the noodles, roasted tofu, and vegetables. Seaweed and green onions are a standard offering with this dish, but omitted here for my partner’s preference. Gluten-free rice noodles can be easily substituted for the wheat-based ramen noodles, making this wonderful option even more accessible.
On the days I don’t enjoy a bowl of ramen, I turn to RameNesque’s fabulous curry, listed on the menu as Vegetarian (Vegan) Curry. To those not familiar with Japanese-style curry, imagine root vegetables simmered in a rich, mildly-spiced curry gravy, spooned over rice and served with roasted tofu and steamed broccoli. It’s a soul-soothing, comforting meal that really hits the spot!
And for yet another great option (isn’t it great to have choices?) there are two varieties of vegan rice bowls (donburi): the Ginger Tofu Rice Bowl and the Spicy Tofu Rice Bowl. I prefer the spicy variety, which features pan-fried tofu, caramelized onions, carrots, and broccoli, tossed together with spicy chili-garlic paste and served over rice. Delicious!
The portions at RameNesque are generous and moderately priced, with entrees averaging $14. It’s a comfortable, family-friendly environment where the food is always wonderful and the service kind and attentive. I highly recommend adding RameNesque to your list of vegan-friendly restaurants to support!
Peekskill Location (closed on Tuesdays):
Thornwood Location: (closed on Mondays)
14 Marble Ave, Thornwood, New York, 10594