Thursday, January 14, 2010
Last night, as we were walking home from dinner in the West Village, a friend and I happened upon a little gem of a restaurant named Recette ("recipe" in French). We decided to stop in for one after-dinner drink and ended up staying for many, many more (always great fun until the next morning). We quickly realized it was Recette's opening night and as luck would have it we were seated at the area of the bar that provides an unobstructed view into the open kitchen- to our direct left sat two of the restaurant's co-owners (who we later learned are Executive Chef Jesse Schenker's very proud, incredibly friendly, and funny parents).
While Jesse's parents kept us laughing, Jesse graciously provided us with complimentary samples of his flavorful food. Although we had just finished a rather large dinner, we found room in our stomachs as Jesse's creations are too good to pass up- the crispy, salty razor clams have a touch of heat when eaten with the accompanying chili compote and cherry pepper; the duck fat fingerling potatoes are morsels of goodness; the seasonal root vegetables, served in a mini cast iron pot, are roasted to perfection; the scallops with heavenly coconut saffron "stew”, mussels, celery root and basil is a dish I would happily eat over and over again. Recette's highly satisfying menu is matched by its inventive cocktail list. The restaurant's bartender, James, makes a dangerously delicious Classic Recette by pouring champagne over a brown sugar cube and topping it with Angostura bitters (Jesse's aunt brought several bottles from Florida as panic resulting from a potential bitters shortage made bottles difficult to find in Manhattan) and fresh orange peel.
Recette's rustic, homey atmosphere is so inviting (Jesse's mother, an interior designer, is partially responsible for its warm accents) that we decided to make reservations for this coming weekend (I am beyond excited about Pastry Chef Christina Lee's deconstructed s'more) before finally heading home.
27 year old co-owner and Executive Chef, Jesse Schenker (picture from Recette)
Roasted scallop, coconut saffron “stew”, mussels, celery root, basil (picture from Recette)
Duck fat fingerling potatoes (picture from Recette)