Recipe UWS (recipenyc)
Just joined a friend there for dinner this week. Yes, it is TINY (e.g. staff slides tables in and out for you when you're being seated/leaving), so booking a reservation is a good idea. Only time we were able to squeeze in was 6:30 PM, and at the time of the reservation, the person on the phone asked if it was OK to have a 90-minute window for dinner. Fair enough question, especially given the size of the place and the price point.
The entire menu looked good, as well as specials. Rather than order 2 entrees, we decided to get a few appetizer and share between us, so we could try as many dishes as possible.
The beet salad was a lovely, straightforward rendition: roasted golden and red beets- perfectly tender and sweet, goat cheese (on the side) and pecans with a very tasty vinaigrette.
The dressing was so tasty, in fact, that we sprinkled a little onto the duck confit hash, which was very good, but also very rich. The few acidic drops really elevated the flavor. Beautiful diced rutabagas, sweet potatoes, and white potatoes, leaves of Brussels sprouts, a couple of wild mushrooms, shreds of confit, all in a small sizzling skillet topped with a soft-centered poached egg. Besides the runny yolk (which always makes be utterly happy), the nicest treasure in it all was a whole, completely caramelized garlic clove that melted away in my mouth.
Our plates were cleared, and then our second set of appetizers came out in a few minutes. This seemed thoughtful, given that we did have a limited time window, but we also had limited space on the table.
Scallops with butternut squash gnocchi, Brussels sprout leaves and some sort of intense buttery sauce across the plate was tasty. Gnocchi was fairly light in texture, scallops were nicely cooked, and there was enough sauce to accent without overpowering everything.
The biggest bummer of the night for me was the foie gras cocotte- arrived in a tiny jar with a jammy fig layer in the bottom, a layer of foie, and the creamy fat layer on top. I was excited to hear that it did not contain pork, since I often miss out on dishes of this type because of my personal abstinence from pork. However, the dish did not appeal to me because of the relative thinness of the foie layer. I felt like I was eating a savory, fatty Fig Newton filling- not quite as bad as it might sound, but not what I'd really hoped for. I did eat my fair share of the jar contents, but mainly out of hunger, not because I was really enjoying the flavor. The toast on the side might have provided a little more sustenance, but I used as little of it as possible. While the flavor was innocuous, the texture of it was more like very stale bread instead of a crunchy base for the creamy spread. At the least the cornichons on the side were puckery and crisp.
We went for dessert, splitting 2 small scoops of Concord grape and dark chocolate sorbetti. The grape tasted more like the standard red variety....my friend commented that it was "just like eating a frozen grape"- which is a pretty accurate description. Fine, but not something I'd go back for and a bit misleading in description without, in my estimation, the distinct taste of Concord grapes. But the chocolate....oh man. That totally hit the spot. Perfectly smooth and creamy, and so intense in chocolate flavor without being too sweet.
Service as a whole was one of the nice standouts of the evening, with glasses being refilled frequently, extra plates being brought out once they saw we were sharing, clean silverware delivered before round 2, and of course, the table sliding. :) I arrived a few minutes before the reservation and my friend, but was immediately seated with a smile.
The bill was gentle- only $60 after tip. Next time, I might just commit to a whole entree, given the portion sizes of those (from what I saw at adjacent tables) seemed more generous for the price than the appetizers. I left feeling like I'd eaten just barely enough, but another small plate or two (or even decent toast) might have made all the difference. Totally worth a return visit, given the highs were as elevated as the (few) lows were disappointing. Also a very easy walk from the 79th Street stop....
I've been twice for lunch during the week within the last six or so months. My friend and I both enjoyed the food. I think we both felt the food was reasonably priced for the quality, though neither of us is a huge eater. Someone with a hearty appetite might find the prix-fixe insufficient. That said, they could always order more off the menu, though this would obviously raise the tab.
I'm not sure I would bother to wait in line to go or anything. We made a point to arrive around Noon both times and didn't have a problem getting seated. In fact, in one instance my friend was a few minutes late but they seated me while I waited, which I appreciated.
I agree with pretty much everything that Kelea wrote. Recipe is a restaurant that makes fairly simple preparations using decent quality ingredients. The food is nothing that will blow you out of the water, but it is an enjoyable neighborhood option if you happen to live nearby. Prices are IMO slightly high for the small portion sizes and simple preparations. Don't confuse it with Recette in the West Village.
328 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10014
coasts, my visit to recipe was almost 2 years ago when it opened. i don't know how relevant it will be but if nothing has changed it's def a great neighborhood joint. The meals were as promised - rustic and everything tasted fresh and flavorful. nothing to fancy, all just comfort dishes. For the price and quality, I was pleased.
the place is probably always booked because there are only 8 tables or so. it's TINY!
Here's the thread a couple of us were on awhile back http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/626730