For my birthday I was lucky enough to be taken to wd~50, a restaurant that has been on my to-eat list. We all know about Wylie Dufresne and how he’s changed the food scene with molecular gastronomy earning himself Best Chef in NY for six years (James Beard Award). Being that they recently changed their menu, I was lucky to taste their new dishes!
Sesame “bread” was provided for the table. Surprisingly, this provided a great savory palette cleanser in between each course.
The Mackerel Nigiri with salsify, seaweed, and sesame started us off. The mackerel was very fresh and smooth. The rice was kind of warm when served, which caught me a bit off guard, but I enjoyed it as a first course. Light and fresh.
Lobster roe served with charred lemon, green grape, and coriander-brown butter was enjoyable and all the flavors worked together. The grape provided a nice sweetness to the dish, and charred lemon added a nice bit of texture.
This was one of the best dishes of the night – pho gras with foie gras, noodles, and mint leaves. The fois gras melted into the broth, which was light and nicely salted. The noodles seemed like it was cooked for slightly too long, but I really enjoyed the interpretation of pho.
Covered in carrots and “peas” (which is actually something else covered in pea powder) is amaro yolk with chicken confit. The presentation was interesting but I personally was hoping the yolk would be runny and it wasn’t.
Another highlight of the meal was the veal briskey with za’atar, plum, and mustard. The thinly sliced veal was nicely flavored with the sauce. The plum slices added a nice texture to the veal and all the flavors blended well together.
Crab toast with saffron, kaffir-yogurt, and arare was pleasant and had a good amount of crab meat on it.
The turbot with black licorice-pil pil, fried green tomato, and fennel was nicely cooked though I mainly enjoyed the fried tomato. The turbot definitely had the texture on the raw side, but nothing wrong with that!
Lamb sweetbreads served with nasturtium-buttermilk, zucchini, and pistachio. For some, sweetbreads could be hard to stomach but this dish made it a lot easier. I felt like the texture of the zucchini definitely helped and the sweetbread was flavored nicely.
Their root beer ribs with rye spaetzle and apricot was nicely cooked – tender and juicy paired with the apricot sauce helped make these ribs sweet.
I really enjoyed the palette cleanser – Jasmine, cucumber, honeydew, and chartreuse. It totally did its job after going through all the savory dishes; it gave my senses a blast of refreshment!
The first dessert was yuzu milk ice with hazelnut, rhubarb, and basil. What is milk ice? I think it’s basically puffed up ice cream as you can see from the white sponge-like blob in the middle of the picture. It didn’t have a sponge-like texture once I ate it, but it was more like it “melted” in my mouth.
This was one of the most impressive dishes of the night for me. Their version of the s’mores with bitter cocoa, meringue, and black currant was delicious. The “marshmallow” on top is actually marshmallow ice cream that’s in the shape of marshmallow! GENIUS. It was perfectly bitter and sweet, plus the marshmallow helped cut any intense chocolate-y goodness.
FINALLY, the last bite is the white chocolate covered with freeze-dried raspberries and gjetost in the center. Delicious!
WD~50 was a great adventure into the world of molecular gastronomy. Dishes were familiar enough for you to feel comfortable, but at the same time, each dish was innovative in the changing the familiar forms of the ingredients within the dish. I really enjoyed my time there since the waitstaff were informative and casual, food was good and interesting, and I got a tour around the kitchen!
50 Clinton Street, New York, NY