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I feel like I've just read a very gratifying short story. Thanks! Wonderful piece of prose.

And...we are visiting New York next month and are dining at WD-50 our first night in town. I can't wait.

Fred Bramhall

A professor is one who talk's in someone else's sleep

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lxt, wonderfully written review!

I would have loved to have been there with you experiencing your revolutionary slow poached egg dish!

You captured the entire evening and all dishes with remarkable & eloquent detail. Now if only I could get to NYC...

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Kim WB, firstly, thank you for your compliment. Nevertheless, I must disagree with you on some key points.

Chef Dufresne’s bold, daring flavors may not always be appreciated by all diners; however, the menu is “catholic” enough to accommodate most tastes, and it would be a shame to neglect the opportunity to acquaint oneself with the delight of one of the most challenging and creative cuisines of the city. One can always convey his preferences to the service staff, who proved to be knowledgeable and very helpful, and ask for their recommendation.

After we returned from London, our gastronomic experiences in New York were mediocre at best, aside from a wonderful dinner at Atelier. WD50 was the only place that awoke our senses and sparked our interest. Chef Dufresne’s cuisine is not a simple blind mixture of contemporary extravagance: it is sober and very elegant. A few dishes may leave some palates puzzled or disliked, but to my mind, it is an experience not to be missed. Dufresne takes a “common object” out of its customary setting and places it in a new an unfamiliar environment, challenging traditional preconception. However, it is certainly not a random combination but the result of a well-thought-out process, experimentation and technique.

I also don’t think that the flavor combinations are necessarily so revolutionary. The marinated fish/foie gras combination has been successfully explored by chef Blumenthal in his Crab Biscuit – roast foie gras, crystallized seaweed, marinated salmon and oyster vinaigrette dish. Caramel was used with tuna tartare in Dispirito’s Tuna Tartare with asian pear and fresh wasabi dish very successfully. Red pepper oil was used by Vongerichten (though with a different preparation technique). Beets with squab was on Pierre Gagnaire’s menu for years (Squab breasts with germiny mousse and beet cream sauce). To anyone who is even slightly interested in the current development of the culinary scene in New York, I would strongly recommend to visit WD50 and decide for himself whether this cuisine suits his palate.

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Rachel and Robert40, thank you very much.

Fredbram, I wish you the best trip and no less pleasurable an experience at WD50 as we had. Please do report back.

Pan, tangerine petals was a literary euphemism for tangerine segments, each of which, in its bright vibrant color and shape, reminded me of a petal of the flower. I suppose I should’ve placed this phrase in quotes.

Blue Heron, I have no doubts that my experience would’ve been even richer had I been able to share it with you at the same table. Perhaps some day… :smile:

Jogoode, thank you for providing the menu information. The seven-course menu is $95 indeed, which is not much different from some three-star restaurants’ seven-course tasting (Café Buloud‘s is $90). The service, though good, is very casual, especially before you are seated at the table. However, the food, when it hits the heights, is a four-star experience. You may not choose to order the chef’s tasting, in which case the bill will be lower, but you can certainly use the information in this thread to select the most successful dishes.

One of the peculiar things that we discussed after dinner was that the restaurant doesn’t serve regular bread before dinner. They serve flat, paper bread covered with sesame seeds – very thin, almost see-through sheets of bread that seemed to be so gentle that they would crumble under your fingers with just a slightly more forceful touch, or dissolve on your tongue if kept long enough in your mouth. It was an interesting concept, and it corresponded with the general style of the cuisine and a new trend in some restaurants (Ola, for instance). However, it seemed that regular bread before dinner wouldn’t be completely out of context with the cuisine’s approach as well and would be appropriate based on the portion size. However, it was mostly my husband’s complaint, as, apparently due to my relatively low mass, I was quite happy with the amount of food.

Edited by lxt (log)
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One of the peculiar things that we discussed after dinner was that the restaurant doesn’t serve regular bread before dinner.  They serve flat, paper bread covered with sesame seeds – very thin, almost see-through sheets of bread that seemed to be so gentle that they would crumble under your fingers with just a slightly more forceful touch, or dissolve on your tongue if kept long enough in your mouth.  It was an interesting concept, and it corresponded with the general style of the cuisine and a new trend in some restaurants (Ola, for instance).  However, it seemed that regular bread before dinner wouldn’t be completely out of context with the cuisine’s approach as well and would be appropriate based on the portion size.  However, it was mostly my husband’s complaint, as, apparently due to my relatively low mass, I was quite happy with the amount of food.

Here's a relevant discussion of the role of bread at famed Trio, in Evanston, Illinois.

JJ Goode

Co-author of Serious Barbecue, which is in stores now!

www.jjgoode.com

"For those of you following along, JJ is one of these hummingbird-metabolism types. He weighs something like eleven pounds but he can eat more than me and Jason put together..." -Fat Guy

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  • 2 weeks later...

LXT,

That's the most intelligent, astute and well written review on WD I have seen. If you don't mind, Id like to forward your post to Wylie. I know he will appreciate it.

Who are you? A chef, a food critic, Wonder Woman?

"Your girlfriend is a vegetarian, tell her she should eat rabbit...they're vegetarians too" Ali

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I was wondering if anyone has had the beet cake that Sam Mason is doing on his (new?) dessert menu?

I was curious if it's chocolate based or really a 'beet' cake.

Any info, as always, is greatly appreciated.

2317/5000

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  • 2 weeks later...

Admin: threads merged.

I'm sorry, i m too lazy to find the other thread, but i wanted to say How fabulous I thought that my mini meal at WD 50 was last night.

I was in the area to see a band play at the Mercury lounge and had some time to kill so why not indulge right?

I sat at the bar and began to examine the menu. Everthing seemed to jump out at me, i could hardly decide what to order. I started with the venison carpaccio with the anjou pear crisps and edamame icecream. The presentation was so perfect, a round of carpaccio with the very thin crisps between the quennelle of icecream. The carpaccio had a lovely flavor, i ve only had venison sauteed or cooked in a fragrant sauce so it was nice to try it on its own. The edamame icecream was so creamy and smooth. It reminded me of the avocado milkshake i had in KY with Ron. I love the raw meaty taste of the venison paired with the icecream.

I then skipped to dessert , a pinenut parfait , bittersweet chocolate cream and saffron sauce. agan it was such a great presentation, all of it art to me. It was sweet without being overly so, and the saffron sauce perfectly swirled around the dessert added a fabulous spark of color to the dish and a unique taste.

I was so moved by the food that i made a reservation for the middle of April!

Now i m broke, i gotta save up the pennies for a while!

Edited by slkinsey (log)

"Is there anything here that wasn't brutally slaughtered" Lisa Simpson at a BBQ

"I think that the veal might have died from lonliness"

Homer

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You need to get someone to treat you for dinner, Lauren. :biggrin:

(Or you could try downscaling your taste. :laugh: )

Thanks for the report. I still have yet to try that place...

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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You need to get someone to treat you for dinner, Lauren. :biggrin:

(Or you could try downscaling your taste. :laugh: )

Thanks for the report. I still have yet to try that place...

pan- hey thats why i only got an ap and dessert!!!!

i wish my taste buds were less sophisticated, alas they are not, but dont get me wrong, i d do il baguatto over babbo any day!!

Ya-Roo Yang aka "Bond Girl"

The Adventures of Bond Girl

I don't ask for much, but whatever you do give me, make it of the highest quality.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I had a very good meal at WD50 but wonder if anyone would want to eat there more than once? I don't really want to have to psychoanalyze my food very often. It should also be said that I went directly to Katz's and had a fantastic pastrami sandwich which alleviated my hunger.

Rick

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jeunefilleparis,

You need to get an A&R person to take you to the'50'!

Hope the band was good.

I miss the Mercury Lounge :sad:

Can you tell us a bit more about the pinenut parfait?

Was it a frozen type of dessert?

When I get back to NYC, wd-50 is the 1st place I'm going to.

Thanks!

2317/5000

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I had a very good meal at WD50 but wonder if anyone would want to eat there more than once? I don't really want to have to psychoanalyze my food very often. It should also be said that I went directly to Katz's and had a fantastic pastrami sandwich which alleviated my hunger.

Rick

Thanks, that was funny. :biggrin:

But goodness, you had room for a whole Katz's pastrami sandwich after your meal??!! :wacko: That is hardly an advertisement for WD-50!

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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  • 1 month later...

We were in town briefly Wednesday and Thursday after a James Beard dinner and wanted to celebrate with a tasting menu at what is a very talked about place. I know many have already been and a lot of foodies have made THEIR opinions known so here's my two cents. We had to get back to Providence so we asked the server to pair up what he thought would work for several courses starting with the, forgive the spelling, my notes were sloppy, Beliefon Rose sparkling.

Fluke, asian celery pesto, pineapple

Amuse-sized, two bites of well-seasoned fluke marinated with citrus flavors, pineapple, chive blossoms, and fried fluke skin. A swoosh of asian celery pesto was a nice condiment, but the fluke shined. Very well-seasoned and a great start.

Foie gras terrine, anchovy, citrus chutney, tarragon sauce, cocoa nibs, fleur de sel

Obviously a lot has already been said about this dish, good and bad. After a lot of thought I will side with the bad. Very bad. Its not as though I didn't get it. technically it was executed well. The terrine was well made, smooth, a great chutney of lemon, lime, preserved lemon and yuzu, and a fine tarragon swath of light green all worked well with the foie. Even the cocoa nibs with their interesting flavor and texture were perfect with the fleur de sel and the foie. Everything worked perfectly except for the red-headed step child named anchovy. I tried and tried while my girlfriend looked in horror after her first bite. I tried even while watching the table next to us choke down thier full appetizer order-with half smiles. I tried and failed. I didn't get it. At all. And later on the ride back I was actually angry. I coughed up over three bills for an otherwise great tasting and I'm still burping up anchovy.

Scallops, coffee cous cous, pine shoots, licorice

Fine dish only lacking salt. The coffee cous cous was a tad bitter against the sweet licorice reduction, again a skosh of salt would work well. The scallops were warm and sprinkled with minced pine shoots which I was happy to see because where I work I tried to use them and people thought I was crazy. They are the small, tender shoots of a spruce tree and while they look like pine needles they are actually very edible and tasty. This dish had nice balance but really needed more salt.

Rabbit sausage, avocado, grainy mustard paper

I have always wondered about the 'paper' phenonmenon. Weekes ago we finally figured it out and now I was happy to try others'. The dish is a take on some very classic combinations and had two slices of rabbit sausage, very bland and not sausage-like, more terrine-ish. There was a nice swoosh of avacado puree, but flavorless, and one of the most perfect rabbit chops I have ever seen. Whoever butchered these should be very proud. And it was the best gram of flavor I have ever had. Then I had the mustard paper. Delicious.

One note that bothered me about this tasting was our plates were very small. I know Wylie is known for his presentation and was in attendance this evening, but all of our plates were very small, bread-sized plates. I love tiny, intricate presentations on large, white porcelin. These looked like hors d'oeuvres plates.

Langoustine, celery noodles, shitake, toasted rice broth

Very lightly broiled langoustine, perfect! I could have eated 10. The celery 'noodles' were poorly jullienned celery stalks, and dried shitake mushrooms. the langoustine was topped with dried celery which, unfortunately had little flavor and got stuck in the teeth. The toasted rice broth was very tasty and the total dish was a very nice combination.

Slow poached egg, parmesan broth, tomato powder

This one made me giddy. Very, very good. There were dried garbanzo noodles, and a perfect parmesan broth. The slow poaching gives the yolk a richness I can't describe. All the elements worked very well.

Lamb sweetbread, green daikon, black bean, chocolate powder

Again well executed and this one in particular was very well presented. A paper-thin round of daikon with the nicely caramelized sweetbreads, a rich tomato condiment and chocolate flavor. Good color and flavor. Micro daikon sprouts finished off the presentation and added a fine bitterness.

Squab, red beet powder encrusted golden beets, sweet potato juice.

The squab was slow poached (sous-vide maybe?) and very tender, very delicious. The beets were an interesting idea and tasty, I love beets though so they cannot be screwed up in my mind. Sweet potato juice reduction complemented well. More daikon micro sprouts finished the presentation and seemed unnecessary. Almost like an afterthought, "It needs something green"

That concluded the savory courses and an Aloe-shiso shot aided in cleansing the palate, literally. Aloe is like lavender in my opinion. It sould remain a fine compliment to bathing products, not cuisine.

Ricotta, honey, toast

Wonderfully delicious, wafer thin toast with a nice honey gelee, and sweet ricotta. The texture of the ricotta was odd and I wondered if it was an espuma. I am sitll not sure. A nice rosemary oil finished the whole dish and as a cheese course it was well excuted and highly creative and delicious. I couls eat a basket of the toast.

Rum roasted banana, milk chocolate ice cream, curry

Nice presentation, finally on a larger plate! The decadent roasted banana sat upon a brown butter crumble and was spanned by a perfect curry tinged dehydrated banana chip to a decadent chocolate ice cream. The plate was designed with a nice curry paint stroke and caramel gelee. Very nice dessert and finale.

We finished up with some nice cotton candy flovored with ginger. I love cotton candy and this was such a great touch for such an awesome and creative venture. Although I am just tired of ginger.

Overall I am glad we had a chance to visit and we did get to tour the kitchen and meet Wylie and his father and they were both very friendly and proud of their Bonnet range and toys of creativity. We did feel a bit taken advantage of with the wine pairings. We were charged for a normal wine flight when we only had three glasses.

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I just went there this saturday and had the exact same dishes..I dont know how you were able to remember all that. Did you go with a notebook, or not had. That was a terrific review and pretty dead on.

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Oh i forgot to mention that they have the worlds bitchest waitress there. Someone at the table remembered her from mary's fish camp. Its so surprising that a place who has such a nice owner and father team, would let that miserable person into their world.

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Oh i forgot to mention that they have the worlds bitchest waitress there. Someone at the table remembered her from mary's fish camp. Its so surprising that a place who has such a nice owner and father team, would let that miserable person into their world.

I believe I've met her.

Liz Johnson

Professional:

Food Editor, The Journal News and LoHud.com

Westchester, Rockland and Putnam: The Lower Hudson Valley.

Small Bites, a LoHud culinary blog

Personal:

Sour Cherry Farm.

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We had a wondeful waiter, the man with the curly black hair tied back and fine back waiter service. Some who dropped off plates used the menu description and others took great pride in knowing every-single-little-detail. Obviously the staff is well trained and with this kind of cuisine that is paramount. Sorry we missed the misrable lady.

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  • 1 month later...

Ciao,

I was searching the Gullet for hits on WD-50 but came up short on all my tries.

In April '04 I ate at WD-50 three consecutive weekends and thought the place was amazing. I would really like to know what you all think about the place...the Chef...Brigade...Awesome Bartenders...and the Pastry side as well.

I snuck a peak into the kitchen and it was the cleanest kitchen I have ever seen.

Well - lets hear what you've got!!!

Ciao,

Ore

You can check out the web site HERE

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Well - lets hear what you've got!!!

I have eaten at WD-50 only one time. The 2 of us ordered 9 dishes, 2 appetizers each one main each and 3 desserts to share. Some of the dishes were excellent and some a little silly. I’m not sure how does an oyster benefit from being flattened except for the fact that it is unusual.

Overall I’m looking forward to returning and in my opinion the chef is doing a very good job at this new cuisine

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I posed a question to Egullet just before WD-50 opened asking if it would catch on. I ate there in May for a tasting and posted above on the May tasting thread. (Sorry I don't know how to add text links.) Anyway, I thought parts of the meal was great and others unnecessary. The room was packed. We were the first table at 6:30 and left at 10pm, I saw the room turn at least twice and it was a Thursday. There were clearly regulars and curosity seekers choking down the foie with anchovies, and others who loved everything. The ball is in Wylie and Sam's court. It is up to them to chart the course for the future of this venture and to keep their fans happy and excited.

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