September 26, 2012 § Leave a comment
One of the most memorable, delicious meals of the summer took place at Jesse Schenker’s Recette in Greenwich Village. The place had been strongly recommended to me by the same co-worker, Artemis, who said I had to visit Fatty ‘Cue, so after that meal, I knew to trust her completely. Laura had just finished a grueling exam for her summer engineering?architecture? class and we decided to take our time at dinner, ordering a number of small and large plates and 2 desserts…
The meal started with a cocktail, the J’ardin d’Eden – Hendrick’s gin, cucumber, basil, and ginger syrup – perfect for the summer and so refreshing when paired with all the rich, flavorful food we were about to dig into. Plus, anyone who has had drinks with me knows how much I love the gin and cucumber pairing.
For our “snack” plates, we ordered the salt cod fritters with lamb sausage ragu and curry aioli, the “buffalo” sweetbreads with pickled celery and blu di bufala dip, and the foie gras terrine. Each dish was so different yet all of them tasted amazing…The sweetbreads were cooked just right, with a crispy exterior and creaminess inside and the slightest offal flavor to remind you that you weren’t simply eating fried “stuff.” I, being the comfort food obsessive that I am, also really loved the genius riff on the classic wings and blue cheese combo. The cod fritters (which I usually associate with Spanish tapas) sounded the most interesting of the three, mainly because they’d been paired with lamb and curry of all things, and somehow, all the elements came together to create yet another fried food that I find myself craving at the most random times. The star, by far, however, was the foie gras terrine. It looked absolutely gorgeous on the plate, with this crazy gloss and tiny flakes of sea salt, and tasted even better…everything that foie gras is supposed to be – smooth in texture and uber-rich in flavor…drool.
Our next three plates (yes, we went a bit overboard) were the fresh cut spaghetti with sweet shrimp, stewed tomato, chili, and sea urchin, a duck breast with confit leg, spring peas, and arugula (I think?), and the Berkshire pork belly with rock shrimp, turnips, romesco and sherry caramel. It really was a meal where every, single effin’ dish blew our minds…and we managed to really slow down and take our time savoring every bite. The pasta was sweet from the tomato and incredibly luxurious due to the sea urchin, the duck breast (my favorite of the three), had the required crispy skin over a thin layer of fat and the meat was cooked medium-rare – it really didn’t even need all the other garnishes and accompaniments in my opinion because it was so flavorful, and the pork belly may have been the best of many, many pork belly dishes in the city.
But amazingly, we weren’t done yet. I think our waiter must’ve been a bit shocked by how dedicated we were to this dinner. For dessert, we ordered the “s’mores” – graham cracker ice cream, toasted marshmallow, and hot chocolate ganache – and another dish that’s unfortunately no longer on the menu but included passionfruit creme with pastry, diced mango, and orange (?) sorbet…this took place so long ago that my memory’s a bit foggy. Anyway…as much as I tend to like savory food more than sweet, these were both excellent and perfect conclusions to our long, super-indulgent meal.
328 W. 12th Street
New York, NY 10014