Chef and restaurateur Jesse Schenker is closing his West Village restaurant Recette due to rent increases, the chef has announced and tells Eater. He opened neighborhood modern American restaurant six years ago, and though not all critics initially loved it, he ended up earning a positive two stars from Sam Sifton at the Times. "As my very first restaurant, Recette allowed me to become the chef that I am today," Schenker writes in a note. "I'll be forever grateful for the warm welcome to New York City's dining scene and opportunity to plant my roots in the greatest city in the world."
Recette served small plates, house-made charcuterie, and tasting menus that ranged from $80 to $160. Eater critic Ryan Sutton calls Schenker "a talented chef" and says it was an ambitious place that was "exactly the type of restaurant you'd want in a neighborhood, simultaneously accessible for a snack and luxurious for an anniversary or destination meal." Sutton, on Recette:
When you think of today’s small, European-style chef driven restaurants, from Battersby to Dover to Contra to Wildair, with young chefs serving fancy food with small staffs in pared down digs, you have to tip your hat to Recette as one of the earlier proponents of this style. It’s too bad it didn’t work out.
Schenker will be focusing his efforts at The Gander, which opened at 15 West 18th St. a couple years ago. He recently revamped the Flatiron restaurant, turning the front area into a bar room and making the back a more formal dining experience. He's also bringing over all the staff from Recette to The Gander. "Recette was a really positive experience," Schenker tells Eater. "I consider it a success because it got me into the NYC dining scene."
The chef and restaurateur nods at the possibility of Recette's flavors showing up at new ventures. "Please be assured that this is not a true end for Recette — its spirit will live on at my larger Flatiron district restaurant, The Gander, as well as in other ventures that we have planned," he writes. Recette's last service is on April 23, where they will be giving out free glasses of bubbly.