Recette, a quick review

I had been very excited to try Recette for a long time.  I interviewed the executive chef two years ago when I was working for the now defunct dining website, Gobbl, and was impressed by his kindness and clear passion for cooking.  Back then, Recette was a private dining company run by the executive chef Jesse Schenker and the pastry chef Christina Lee (who, if I recall correctly, is a Columbia grad) housed in a bakery by day, swanky dining room by night.

Today, it’s a full fledged restaurant on the corner of 12th and Greenwich with TWO stars from the NYTimes.  It’s amazing that these two chefs and their partners have been able to realize their dreams of owning their own restaurant.  I liked the interior and the staff a lot; there are more servers and waiters than you would expect for a relatively small restaurant (think Little Owl size) and so the service ends up being very prompt and attentive.  The cocktail and wine selections were great as was the food.  I think if I had to come up with one word to sum of the meal, it was balance.  Every dish we tried (from the diner menu) was carefully thought out and clearly balanced.  The saltiness of the caviar and mussel vinagrette atop the tuna crudo was carefully and perfectly balanced out by the caramelized, refreshing oranges on top of each piece of tuna.  The sweetness of the berkshire pork belly (it was glazed with sherry caramel) was undercut by the salty and spicy side of romesco.

I would definitely go back to Recette but perhaps when I have a fuller wallet.  Dinner there was pricey…especially when you take into consideration the portions…which are very very small.  It’s meant to be more of a tapas sharing type situation I think…  I was treating Alex to a b-day dinner that day…which also happened to be Mother’s Day and they had a Mother’s Day tasting menu for around $50; I think that actually would have been a better bet (and similar in cost).  Their tasting menus feature 4 courses with larger portions…

328 West 12th St.
New York, NY 10014


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