You know I like Recess, I have written it up already a couple of times before. I love the fact that they change the menu every day and highlight what is really fresh and seasonal. We were celebrating a sort of personal milestone and it was hubby’s choice. He wanted to be guaranteed a good meal so Recess it was. And I figured since they change the menu every day, every review is a new one right?
As usual, I really enjoyed the meal, although this time there was a course that I didn’t care for—the salad course. This is sort of unusual for me because unique salads are something I think Recess excels at, and something that usually makes me really happy. And actually I can’t say it wasn’t unusual, I just didn’t like it. It was broccoli and cauliflower florets which were raw, a bit of tomato and onion all tossed with a ginger cilantro vinaigrette. Don’t get me wrong, I love all the ingredients inherently, I am just not a fan of raw broccoli and cauliflower. It was just was a little too crunchy for me—especially the cauliflower which were even larger pieces. More of the tomato would have helped I think, but all in all, it just wasn’t my fave (and the course I didn’t get a picture of either).
The next course was amazing. It was house made pasta (fettuccine size) with chanterelle and oyster mushrooms, fava beans, and peas in a thyme nage. It was a rich dish, and the mushrooms were wonderfully flavored with the nage (think light butter sauce). The peas and favas gave a nice snap to the dish and the pasta was perfectly prepared. It was sprinkled with a bit of parmesan. (My picture was after a bite or so, so that is why the plate does not look perfect). The one downside, even for me, was that it was a small portion—just enough to give you a taste for it, and want more. But I have to say, this was another example of a local chef making fresh pasta with interesting ingredients that puts to shame a lot of the local Italian places.
The next course was either wild king salmon or local beef tenderloin (Fisher Farms) served with a corn cake, collard greens, and bacon zucchini relish. Wow, this one was great as well. Hubby had the salmon and I had the beef so we could try both. I would be hard pressed to pick which one was better. The steak was perfectly prepared and tender, and the salmon was crispy on the edges and perfectly cooked as well. I loved the sides also; the collards had a great flavor, especially mixed with the bacony zucchini. All the veggies were also beautifully cooked and flavored. And the corn cake. It was my favorite accompaniment. Sweet with nice pieces of fresh corn. And corn so far this season has been out of the world for me. There was a nice drizzle of a savory vinaigrette around the plate that just perfectly blended the sweetness of the corn, the saltiness of the bacon flavor and the slight bitterness of the greens, with its touch of acidity.
The dessert course was called a goat cheese croquette—it was sort of like a square of a firm goat cheese flavor panna cotta that was coated in crushed pistachios and served with marinated cherries and blueberries. I loved this course too. The pistachios added a nice crunchy texture to the silky smooth cheese and the fruit, while sweet, was not overly so. Now I love cheese as a dessert in itself, but this was a dessert that could make a cheese lover or a sweets lover happy.
I also really enjoy the low key, yet extremely professional service at Recess. Everyone is laid back, but they know what they are talking about and bring your wine before your food, change your silverware as needed and just generally do the job of a restaurant with ease. It makes you feel like you are amongst professionals, and I really appreciate this.
4907 N. College Ave