On the second Monday of each month , Recette features their "Mondays with Jesse" menu. Apparently, they have been doing this event for the past 18 months. I just stumbled onto it last month and it was a fantastic dinner. So I made sure I checked it out this month.
Every course was amazing. This is probably the most creative tasting menu I've seen, anywhere. The chef doesn't just throw in odd ingredients to make a dish sound different or sound fancy or gourmet. All of his ingredients mesh well and surely compliment each other. His progression of courses works very well. His presentation is quite good. This special tasting tasting menu seems to be one of the best kept secrets around. The quality, taste and creativity is put here with Jean Georges, EMP, Modern etc and possibly better than all of them. I've attached a menu copy and photos of most of the dishes. From what I 've heard Chef Jesse Schenker has not repeated a dish for this "Mondays with Jesse" in the 18 times he has offered this menu. What is really amazing is that he cooks these dishes, not in a huge kitchen with a huge staff. His kitchen is the size of my closet, that is just incredible and a reflection on the guy's talent.
The service is exceptional. The tasting menu is $125. I believe if you add the wine tasting it is an extra $100. However, I like choosing my own wine. Here are the courses:
----Amuses Bouches- I forgot them all, I should take notes. but I did manage to take a picture of the scallop amuse. There was a little uni bun that was delicious also, a dish that was a shot that was to be drunk through a big straw,a crispy shrimp in shell, and 2 or 3 other delicious amuses.
-----Hot and Cold Oyster: Raw oyster in gelee, cauliflower, horse radish caviar,a crispy oyster Rockefeller, mignonette gel,, this was a great start.
====Salad Frisee: the name understates the great flavors in this dish.home made fig newtons, pickled pecan, figs, Serrano ham,Sous Vide egg yolk, sauce "Gribiche"
-----Tashreeb Daaj: a kind of Persian broth dish.with braised monkfish, Carrot garlic Espuma,Crispy Prawn Head, Chickpea Spiced broth. A delicious combination of flavors and temperatures, and consistencies.
----Foie Gras & Uni: It was a piece of art. Foie Gras Canvas (a foie puree made like a canvas of a painting to set the rest of ingredients on,see photo) , Roasted Foie Gras, Chutney, Lettuce, Sea Urchin Bottarga ( he froze the uni and then the waiter grated it on top of the dish). What an amazing dish , taste and presentation.
--- "Fish and Eggs": Steel head Trout, Lemon Gel, Rye Puree, Pickled Mustard Seeds (fantastic), Trout Roe, and a Pretzel sauce poured on at the table. The only eggs in the dish were the Trout eggs. A marvelous dish, and the pretzel sauce gave it a German or Austrian touch.
-----Il Grande Rigatoni: Not your typical rigatoni dish appearance. A terrific presentation. Fresh Ricotta, Roasted mushroom puree, Braised Oxtail, Rigatoni and Tomato Sauce holding it all together, topped with Parmesan. Great dish ( see photo).
----Sweetbread Torchon En Crepe: Another mind blowing dish. This dish consisted of Rice powder, Lentil Puree,Trumpet Mushroom, Spinach Sauce "congee', and of course Sweetbreads.
----Japanese Kobe Beef: yes, really from Japan. The waiter came out with a huge cut of the Kobe beef for us to view, before it was cut into portion size and prepared. It consisted of an Kobe medallion, Roasted Salsify, Apple Onion Puree, Beef Beurre Rouge, "beef and potatoes". The photo doesn't do it justice. It was a great dish and what made it even more special was the 10 accompaniments served with the Kobe Beef. The accompaniments were all different parts of cow. From "tongue and cheek", to bone marrow in a hollowed leek to look like bone( bottom left of photo), An astounding assortment of accompaniments to this great beef dish.
-------Grapefruit Baklava: Honey pistachio, Labne, Halva Ice cream. Great flavors and refreshing.
-------Buche de Noel: Candied Mustard Seeds, Caramel, Dacquoise, Pine. The Pine was the Noel part. It was served with a piece of pine frond that was lit on fire and covered with a glass to keep the smoke in. At your table the waiter lifts the glass, releasing the pine smoke. Thus giving you that Christmasy aroma of pine. A bit of showmanship.
--------This was followed by an assortment of desserts including a coffee inspired dessert, and a chocolate dessert, some cookies and pastry. The French pressed coffee is excellent.
They sent us home with a box of cookies and pastries.
Recette's "Mondays with Jesse" is something all CH'ers should check out. I have no idea what January's menu will be, but I'm sure it will surprise. I am sorry I missed the Japanese tasting menu he had a few months back. December's meal was Truly an incredible experience.
Last month's report I posted is here
Here are this month's photos: