I’d been dreading this moment since I started the Top 100 project. Mind you, I knew it would arrive; I just never imagined it would arrive so quickly, the subtle realization that as it is in the theater, each night’s kitchen performance is unique – and that remains an essential part of the thrill. Some nights the stars align, defying explanation – let alone codification – to deliver magic on a plate. Other nights – blame the full moon or just an off night – the effort is strenuous and entirely respectable, if not necessarily worth a standing ovation. The meal I eat tonight – despite a restaurant’s striving for some degree of consistency – will rarely, if ever, be the same meal you eat. So let’s just leave it at this: the stars did not align at Recette the other night. That’s not a knock on Jesse Schenker’s food, which is urbane and thoughtful to a fault at times. (You could do a whole lot worse in this city, believe me) Yet I arrived expecting something ineffable. What was served was pretty. But for a $300 price tag, entirely too practical.