In a social context, рекомендовать means to introduce people to somebody. At first I thought is was a complete false-friend, however now I see that they might not be that far apart. For instance, if you were introducing a commercial product, you probably would say:
I recommend/advise you read X book.
So, when you say рекомендовать, is this a biased introduction of somebody? Like
I recommend you this person, I know who this person is and it will be beneficial to you.
and not just introducing the person?