photo by Dominic Perri

From its tucked-away little corner, the West Village’s intimate Recette, all tall white windows and warm incandescence, practically begs you to fall in love — be it over dinner, with dinner, or both. The space may be small, but chef Jesse Schenker’s aspirations sure aren’t, from the magnificently turned-out minimalism of sliced, marinated hamachi with uni, sea beans, and harissa, to the deep richness of Berkshire pork belly with rock shrimp, turnips, romesco, and sherry caramel, or a duck breast served with a confit leg, beluga lentils, and maitake mushrooms. We state this not as opinion but as fact, having savored all three. Our only regret was not leaving room for one of pastry chef Christina Lee’s over-the-top desserts. (Not to worry; we fell back on a selection of her sorbets.) Next time, it’s the seven-course tasting menu or bust.