What’s on the menu at Recette, a fun French restaurant on Queen West with a Chantecler chef in the kitchen

What’s on the menu at Recette, a fun French restaurant on Queen West with a Chantecler chef in the kitchen

Photo by Daniel Neuhaus

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Name: Recette
Contact: 1166 Queen St. W., @recetteonqueen
Neighbourhood: Beaconsfield Village
Previously: Ikune by Apres
Owner: Naveen Chakravarti (Neon Tiger, Oddseoul)
Chef: Milo Beaubien-Wright (Le Phenix, Chantecler, Actinolite)
Accessibility: Not fully accessible

The food

Chef Beaubien-Wright strikes a balance between approachability and innovation with fresh, creative plates that showcase elements of ye olde Cuisine Classique translated for a modern palate. This is upscale, inventive fare that—compressed pear and kohlrabi chips notwithstanding—doesn’t look down its nose at anybody.

In one dish, deeply caramelized scallops sit in a glossy sauce of charred escarole and romaine—a callback to the imaginative modernity of Beaubien-Wright’s time cooking at Actinolite, and a riff on the timeless French pairing of scallops with watercress sauce. A Cornish hen is served with rutabaga that’s undergone a traditional légumes-glacés treatment (a carefully sequenced procession of water, acid and butter) but with gooseberry juice standing in for the traditional lemon. For a menu that leans heavily on the chef’s technical chops, it’s refreshingly cheerful and easy to enjoy.

This is cheese and crackers, levelled up. Lush, earthy gorgonzola is served with a rhubarb-hibiscus compote, frilly frisée, citrusy shiso, puffed amaranth and a cracker dusted with sesame seeds, nori powder and popcorn powder. Crunchy and creamy, with just the right hit of sugar, this rather unlikely ingredient combo has no business working as well as it does. $14.


An idyllic summer dish to have with a cool glass of white, this salmon tartare plays on the chef’s love of gravlax. Cubes of salmon cured with ponzu, green peppercorns and chive aïoli are mixed with green apple, pickled shallots and a mix of tarragon, chives, dill and lemon balm. It’s all garnished with crispy garlic chips and served with thin slices of kohlrabi, which are meant to be used as the tartare’s delivery vehicle. $18.


Here we have seared, butter-basted Hokkaido scallops in a peculiarly delicious sauce: escarole and romaine are charred on the grill, juiced and emulsified to a silky gloss with lemon, butter and salt. Deep and smoky, it tastes like nothing you would expect from the humble salad greens. It’s served with dollops of pear gel balanced with fermented gooseberry juice, cubes of compressed pear, toasted hazelnuts, leek oil and a mustard microgreen garnish. Funky, acidic and sweet, it’s a wonderfully harmonious dish. $24.


Treating vegetables like meat is all the rage in the Parisian culinary circles followed closely by Beaubien-Wright. Here, he gives maitake mushrooms the steak treatment, butter basting them with thyme, rosemary, and garlic before grilling them to caramelized perfection then hitting them with a honey glaze. The gorgeous, golden-brown mushrooms sit in a pillowy celeriac foam. It’s all garnished with chive oil, garlic chips and sea asparagus. $22.


For dessert, classic madeleine cookie batter is baked in a cake mold and garnished with a raspberry trio: meringue, candy dust and fresh, juicy berries. It’s served with an earl grey creme diplomat, or crème pâtissière mixed with chantilly (sweetened whipped cream). Delicate, bright, and not too sweet, it’s like grown-up birthday cake. $12.
The drinks

Summery sipping cocktails with playful twists—like a pink peppercorn–rimmed strawberry margarita, or an old fashioned with a touch more simple syrup than usual—dominate the cocktail menu. A tight, largely Old World wine list with an emphasis on low-intervention bottles balances light, crispy varietals with fuller-bodied options.

The Wishlist is a spicy strawberry margarita lifted with a house Anaheim chili simple syrup, fresh strawberry purée and a delightful rim of dehydrated strawberries, pink peppercorn, raw sugar and Maldon salt. A spritz of mezcal gives it the slightest smoky touch. $16.


Here we have the Forgive & Forget, a playful, floral sour made with Dillon’s rose gin, lime (which plays better with gin than the typical lemon), St. Germain and pink peppercorn. $16.


An easy-drinking take on an old fashioned, East of Dufferin subs Lot 40 rye in for whiskey and adds a touch more simple syrup than the standard version. The super-sippable cocktail is garnished with fresh thyme and a twist of lemon zest. $16.


The space

Pops of colour, like pretty fuchsia orchids on the tables, energize the room’s relaxed wood-and-eggshell palette. There’s lots of comfy booths and picnic table-style seating, lattice detailing on the walls and a fun soundtrack of hip-hop and classic house music that gives the space a youthful, easy-going vibe.

Left to right: bar manager Zachary Burcsik, owner Naveen Chakravarti and chef Milo Beaubien-Wright