Recipe

Critics' pick
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Upper West Side

Supposedly, the Upper West Side is filled with neighborhood restaurants. So how come this Upper West Sider rarely dines in the ’hood? Thanks to Recipe, a six-month-old eatery on Amsterdam Avenue, that might change. This brainchild of owner David Bank (Land Thai) and chef Shawn Dalziel is a contemporary addition to an area that’s slowly overcoming culinary mediocrity. The 26-seat restaurant would be at home among Brooklyn’s beloved farm-forward eateries; the interior, with reclaimed-wood-paneled walls, salvaged school chairs and a filament-bulb chandelier, is pure urban-agrarian. So is the menu, which lists reasonably priced, homespun dishes that are executed with sophistication (Dalziel did time at San Francisco’s iconic Delfina). A lush foie gras terrine presented a jar of Hudson Valley duck liver in a seal of its own fat, layered over homemade apricot-fig jam. In Dalziel’s hands, a simple beet salad is a vegetarian bounty, with tricolored beets and two ultrafresh lettuces (Lola Rosa and watercress), all from Satur Farms. Perhaps the best dish was a special of cast-iron seared scallops, in an autumnal, addictive brown-butter chestnut sauce, surrounded by tender kabocha squash gnocchi, local turnips, brussels sprouts and other seasonal vegetables. Another entre—a roasted Berkshire pork chop—also displayed a saucier’s prowess, with a well-matched sherry-pineapple glaze, but unfortunately, the protein had been overcooked. Despite that flaw, the strength of the meal persisted through dessert. Buttermilk panna cotta—a balance of rich, pungent and tangy—was perfumed with potent Tahitian vanilla and anointed tableside with Upper West Side rooftop honey. Looks like the locavore movement finally made it uptown—welcome to the neighborhood.—TONY

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Venue name: Recipe
Contact:
Address: 452 Amsterdam Ave
New York

Cross street: between 81st and 82nd Sts
Opening hours: Mon–Thu noon–3:30pm, 5–10:30pm; Fri noon–3:30pm, 5pm–2am; Sat 11am–3:30pm, 5pm–2am; Sun 11am–3:30pm, 5–10:30pm
Transport: Subway: B, C to 81st St–Museum of Natural History; 1 to 79th St
Price: Average main course: $18. MC, V
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