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Bigamy/Polygamy are allowed only under exceptional and legally justifiable circumstances. These Qur’anic illustrations clearly demonstrate that the Qur’an espouses monogamy as a social norm. This view was propounded as early as the third century of Islam and is shared by many eminent Islamic scholars, notably Yusuf Ali [1], and Ameer Ali [2]. Muhammad Asad and Husayn Haykal refer to the conditional clause of the verse 4:3 and observe that such plural marriages are allowed only in ‘exceptional circumstances.’[3,4]

If recommendation was ‘towards monogamy’, why wasn't it clearly spelled out?

This question may arise in the mind of some people and needs answering.

Strict monogamy would have resulted in increased suffering and exploitation of women both in the immediate context of the revelation and the broader historical context.  -- Muhammad Yunus, NewAgeIslam.com