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Aug 12, 2010 10:18 PM

Recette review

I had a really nice dinner at Recette last night. Did the 5 course tasting with wine pairing ($50 addt'l). There was an amuse of hamachi with uni and harissa (wonderful flavor combo), a tomato with burrata (served with a bit of broccolli - fresh and bright and summery), the single best bowl of corn soup I've ever had (served with foie gras - what's NOT to love?), two perfectly cooked scallops,and some pork belly that thankfully was a bit too sweet for my taste -- I was too full. Dessert included a nicely made raspberry sorbet with peach, and "smores". The wine pairing was really nice and interesting, including a Ramsay Pinot and an Austrian Gewurztraminer, among others. I wish I paid better attention (and had not drunk as much...)

I have only two minor criticisms, other than the somewhat too sweet pork belly.....First, there are a couple of too many tables in the place. My companion was constantly bumped and jostled. Second, the room is loud that the runners serving some of the dishes had thick accents, making it really difficult to hear descriptions of the dishes.

Other than these two things, it's definitely a "go again." It was significantly better than my dinner at Nougatine last week (see my earlier review).

328 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10014

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    1. Yes, another agreement of your assessment of Recette. We've enjoyed both our meals there and been lucky enough to get a table by the window on the side each time, so the bumping factor was not an issue. The small portions are a nice change and we like ordering different courses so we get a taste of everything.

      328 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10014

    2. I had the corn soup recently too and it was the best! My favorite dish of the night though were the Buffalo Sweetbreads - totally blew any buffalo chicken wings I've had out of the water!

      1. Unfortunately, due to the treatment we received we were unable to try the food. Last night I called and made a reservation for 7:30. We are in town with our daughter who is returning to college and were going to have a last night dinner together. When we arrived we were told we would be seated shortly. Within minutes a woman came and told us that, because a party with a 7:00 reservation had arrived 35 minutes late, we could not be seated. She offered to let us sit at the (cramped) bar to eat. So we left and told some prospective diners outside why. And they did as well.

        I would understand if we did not have reservations, but I think it is rude and bad business to basically rescind our reservation in favor of someone who was 35 minutes late. If their policy is to hold reservations that long they should not have made a reservation for us and caused us to take a 35 minute trip.

        7 Replies
        1. re: dd65a

          What concerns me is that the hostess was obviously lying, as a 7:00 party would not have been leaving at 7:30, so it should have had no effect on your reservation.

          1. re: rrems

            rrems: You did not quite understand. The 7:00 party did not arrive until 7:35; they were 35 minutes late!

            1. re: ZaZa

              If I had a 7:30pm reservation, I would expect the restaurant to keep a table empty for me making sure that any parties at MY table would have ordered, eaten, and paid well before I got there.

              Hence a party who was late for a 7pm reservation should have no effect on me. It is unlikely that a party arriving at 7pm would been sat at the table meant for MY party, then have ordered, eaten, and paid in the 30 min. time frame.

              I assume the restaurant must have filled the table meant for the 7pm party with walk-in customers when the host assumed the 7pm party were no-shows, and then when the 7pm party arrived, extremely tardy, seated them at the table meant for the 7:30pm, therefore squeezing the 7:30pm party out completely even though the 7:30pm party were on time.

              1. re: ZaZa

                I understood perfectly. I hope kathryn's response clarified it for you.

                1. re: rrems

                  I had dinner the other night at Recette. I can't say anything bad about the food. The roasted corn soup and scallops were good. The deserts were great. But the service and attitude -- ugh! Our friends got there a little earlier than we did. The place was empty, but they insisted that "policy" dictated they could not be seated (presumably until we arrived -- why is that?). And when they did sit, the hostess insisted they push the table virtually up against the wall giving them barely enough room to breath. Bread came only after a couple requests. The waitress kept pushing us to order three plates -- even though two were fine and I have a healthy appetite. A request to substitute lentils from a dish was flatly refused. The waitress' suggestion was "just order something else". I can respect a chef's desire to deliver the taste and texture that was intended, but on a small menu, there ought to be Plan B for each dish. The bigger problem is the menu itself. The food just didn't sound exciting. Everything felt like I "had that before" -- even though the execution was perfectly good. Oh, and the place was "I can't hear you even though you are next to me" noisy. I had really high hopes for Recette, but don't need to go back.

                  328 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10014

                  1. re: jcooper

                    I was there this week too. It was crowded and our table was a bit uncomfortable. I thought about asking to be moved as a more spacious table by a window became available shortly after we were seated, but my partner did not care to move. I loved the food, as I have in the past. My only complaint is that the waitress told us they had a special of fried oysters, and we ordered it a few minutes later, only to be told 15 minutes later that they were out of it. How many dishes you order really depends on which ones you order, as the portion sizes vary and are roughly related to price. We get 4 to 6 dishes for the 2 of us.

            2. re: dd65a

              After all these years, I still think: Sitting at the bar would have been a memorable experience for the family to cherish...always.

              Some of my best memories are due to spontaneity.

            3. loud, pretentious and overpriced...not a "recipe" for success...
              this is just another bad trendy restaurant in the west village.
              the size of most of the dishes were like an amuse bouche...
              but there's nothing amusing here...some of the dishes were truly
              they took what was a lovely dining room and made it
              noisy and uncomfortable...
              my "prescription" for hunger - visit another place!

              2 Replies
              1. re: k52

                Agreed. My husband and I went once in the fall and were not impressed. Overpriced small plates, pushy, unfriendly servers trying to get us to rack up our bill and a limited menu with 2 or 3 of the most appealing options out of stock. Really bad experience.

                1. re: mla19

                  That is too bad, mla. We've been a few times and have never had bad service. If anything, our waiter on this last visit was slightly too friendly and maybe not pushy enough, since I probably would've ordered another bottle of wine and a few more dishes with some encouragement. (I was with my parents and they're horribly polite.) I definitely understand about the issue with price, though. Probably, $30 or so for a "small plate" of steak is a bit excessive.

              2. Recette has, if anything, gotten better since opening. They've expanded the menu a lot, though many dishes include similar ingredients, so if you order a lot of items, make sure the dishes don't sound too similar or flavors will begin to run together. I understand complaints about prices. They do seem rather high for the quantity of food -- but you can't argue with the quality of the ingredients. It's very high.

                (1) Roasted sunchoke soup with Nantucket Bay scallops, pear and smoked bacon; (2) grilled pulpo with black garlic purée, fennel, preserved lemon and rosemary; and (3) bacon wrapped venison with parsnip, cabbage, apple, mustard beurre rouge were standout dishes on our recent visit.


                328 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10014