Taking an underground operation mainstream can have huge benefits -- Blue Man Group were street entertainers prior to storming the globe, and NASCAR was just a bunch of bootleggers runnin' shine until someone realized the people drinking it would pay to watch anything. For a restaurant emerging from the shadows, check out Recette, opening tomorrow
Setting up their refined-yet-cozy digs with dark wood floors, muted green walls, antique framed mirrors, and ample window light, Recette's the date-friendly debut from a 27-year-old former Gordon Ramsay chef who decided to create a proper resto based on his experience cheffing a same-named late night private dining club in back of a Harlem bakery (not named Sconetime at the Apollo, so that's still up for grabs). The constantly rotating American menu debuts with smaller "snacks" of curry chickpeas w/ cucumber & bottarga, pork belly with a grapes/tarragon/yogurt sauce, and crispy giant clam w/ chili compote, plus charcuterie like cacciatore, tete de cochon, prosciutto cotto, and foie gras parfait, proving that animal cruelty's so sweet it can be prepared like a dessert. Shareable "plates" offer the likes of hamachi crudo with uni and blood orange; duck carpaccio w/ chicken liver mousse; black cod abetted by smoked bacon, chanterelles, and shellfish emulsion; crispy sweetbreads on escarole; and rock Berkshire pork belly plated Motley Stüe
Along for the ride's a Per Se pastry alum who also was part of the private dining club, who'll drop roasted apple Napoleons w/ earl grey milk jam, and S'mores-inspired Graham Cracker ice cream w/ chocolate wafer/toasted marshmallow/hot chocolate sauce -- so delicious you won't even notice the throngs of mullets and mesh tank tops gathering around the table to watch you eat.