Haute Eating: 10 Questions for Chef Adriano Ricco of Le Pescadeux

Chef Adriano Ricco’s heart may be in his homeland of Brazil, but his cuisine runs the gamut from Latin to American to his current passion: French Canadian. Ricco, only 33 years old, has worked with several culinary luminaries, including Claude Troisgrois, Laurent Tourendel, and Floyd Cardoz.

At Le Pescadeux, Ricco has created a menu that’s the only one of its kind in New York City: French Canadian. Expect lots of seafood, including oysters, ceviche of mackerel, Quebecoise fish soup and Le Pescadeux’s specialty: the menu of fish duets, in which you can choose two from a list of various fish cooked two ways, including grilled octopus with lemon emulsion and walleye pike gnocchi. On Sundays, bouillabaisse is served all day. But carnivores will also enjoy Le Pescadeux’s offerings with the meat selections, including, the New York Strip steak with bone marrow butter or the lamb porterhouse with Madeira glaze.

Canadian cuisine created by a Brazilian chef? It seems to work at rustic and cozy Le Pescadeux, thanks to the passionate chef Adriano Ricco.

Haute Living: What’s new at Le Pescadeux?
Adriano Ricco: Everything is new about our place, or should I say fresh? I believe we have what will never be old at any reputable place, and that is a good, solid, well-rounded base for everything that comes out of the kitchen. We’re also very democratic and the fish duets illustrate this very well. The fish duets allow diners to choose two half orders of the signature seafood options so they can sample more of the menu per visit. Also, we are on a never-ending quest to always perfect what we do, making sure we try and accomodate our guests’ needs as much as we can. Hospitality at its best.

HL: What are some of your favorite dishes at your restaurant?
As a chef, being responsible for our menu makes me enjoy every single dish I make. Although, I must admit I have some favorites. As a starter, I love the picci pasta with duck ragout and demi sec cherry tomatoes. On our fish, I have a special love for the grilled octopus with lemon emulsion, as well as the wild bass with smoked salmon sauce. On the meat side, I’d highlight the grilled lamb with creamy mushroom polenta and madeira reduction. Dessert-wise I’d go with the tapioca fritters paired with a white chocolate creme anglaise.

HL: Where do you like to dine when you’re not working?
I’d love to be able to go back home (Brazil) and have a good, hearty meal every now and then. I still think NYC needs a good Brazilian eatery that represents what we’re all about. That being said, and because I come from a country that’s equally diverse as the States, I enjoy going to restaurants where I can get at least that vibe. I love going to St Marks Place and hitting the Yakitori joints as much as I sometimes enjoy going to high-end destinations.

HL: What’s your ideal meal?
My ideal meal is composed of not only the food, but also the presence of my lovely wife. I try and make that happen at least once a week, on my day off, when we go out together to grab a bite. Everything goes really, good food, no labels needed. As I stated before, if the base is solid, so will be the food.

HL: Your favorite special occasion spot?
My living room! Because I spend most of my life in the kitchen, going back home is always special.

HL: What’s your favorite NYC neighborhood, and why?
I’ve been living in NYC for almost six years now, and have lived in a lot of different neighborhoods, but I must say Chelsea (where I currently live), is definitely my favorite. It’s close to everything and has a cool vibe.

HL: What do you like to do on your days off?
: On my days off I enjoy walking around the city, researching recipes and discovering cool spots where I can have a nice meal. Also hanging out at home with my wife and cats.

HL: Your favorite vacation destination?
Brazil, without a doubt.

HL: What’s your most memorable meal?
The last dinner I just had with my former chef, master and good friend Alex Atala at D.O.M. Restaurante (in Sao Paulo, Brazil). We enjoyed the amazing tasting menu.

HL: What are your five favorite ingredients?
That’s tough, but here we go… Tucupi, jambu (both from Brazil, and both carrying unique characteristics); pork; truffles; and dark chocolate.

Le Pescadeux is located at 90 Thompson St; 212.966.0021

Email Tracey at tracey@thebusyhedonist.com or visit her blog, The Busy Hedonist, for more of her food adventures.