Arts & Culture

Gemini serves up Eurasian fusion, from blintzes to pad thai

The recently opened restaurant’s menu offers both classic and adventurous options

By
Staff Writer
Friday, September 20, 2013

When a restaurant boasts mastery of the cuisines of three continents, there are bound to be hits, misses and one or two dishes that border on bizarre. Such is the case with Gemini Bar and Grill ­— the restaurant that opened this summer in the Waterman Street space previously occupied by Spice Thai Bistro.

Along with a revamped menu featuring “Eurasian cuisine” — including Western staples and influences from across Asia — the owners of Spice brought in new management for their latest venture, said Danny, a new waiter at the restaurant.

The eclectic options include a large selection of soups, salads, pastas, Asian entrees and fusion dishes. Some options like wings, sliders and dumplings are fairly typical. Others, like bacon scallop guacamole and Thai quesadillas, are slightly harder to find on College Hill.

With entree choices ranging from General Tso’s chicken to goulash, ordering required some direction — Danny’s suggestion of the crispy hot basil chicken, which runs $9 for lunch and $13 dinner, did not disappoint. Marked with two stars for spiciness, the dish provided a kick without being overwhelming. The basil flavoring was pungent and the fried chicken crunchy. The rice proved the perfect vehicle to sop up every bit of the delicious sauce.

The veggie pad Thai, a favorite at Spice, was a bit greasy, but the generous portion of well-cooked vegetables, noodles and crunchy fried tofu slathered in sweet peanut sauce  satisfied a hungry college student for the reasonable price of $8.50.

While only $1.00, the dry breadsticks, flavored with a dash of butter and bit of salt,  left something to be desired and weren’t worth the price.

The dessert menu adhered to the restaurant’s multicultural theme, with the golden banana offering a tropical flair and the angel cake with marscapone cheese offering hints of Italian cuisine. The $6 ricotta strawberry Russian blintzes were  more of a loose crepe with a soft shell and bland, saccharine filling.

Bedazzled cans of fake flowers line the restaurant’s surfaces and brighten Gemini’s red walls and black tablecloths. Outside, a number of warped metal tables, which Danny admitted were bought on Craigslist, line a terrace overlooking the Sciences Library. But the spicy Asian-inspired dishes, not the decor, make the trip down Waterman Street worthwhile — and the 10 percent student discount doesn’t hurt either.

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