Search This Blog

Saturday, January 28, 2012

WD ~ 50 in New York City, NY

New technological advancements also means new advancement in culinary techniques.  At WD~50, Chef Wylie Dufresne pushes to find new techniques with traditional dishes.  Foie Gras?  Eggs benedict?  Fried chicken?  All these traditional meals are prepared at WD~50... just not in the traditional method.  Foie gras?  Aerated.  Eggs benedict? ... well, I don't even know how to explain it.  Fried chicken?  Not greasy and oily.  And served cold.  Yes, cold.  One of the leaders in molecular gastronomy, Chef Wylie Dufresne not only envisions new methods for preparing traditional meals, but new flavor combinations to create a totally new experience.  No, not everything will be as a good as traditional foie gras, but come in with an open mind and you'll experience something that you will not experience at any other restaurant.

When one thinks of foie gras they think of a rich slice of seared liver.  Well, that's definitely not what you get at WD~50.  Instead, foie gras is aerated.  It creates a new texture.  It's light and, well, airy. Served with beets and mashed plum, it's a great combination of flavors that I've never had.  It's not fully sweet and fruity like caramelized pear, but due to the different nature of the foie gras itself, I'd say it was a wonderful combination. Compared to traditional foie gras?  I would prefer the original.  That's not to say that this wasn't tasty -- and interesting.  Am I glad I paid $20 for this?  No doubt.  If not for the discovery of different flavors, food would be boring.

Sorry for the blurry picture, no tripod and dim lighting makes it hard to take photographs
Fried chicken... that's not fried.  Is it right to call it fried chicken?  That's a debate in itself.  My friend was pretty disappointed that it had very little resemblance to fried chicken.  I don't thin it was deep fried, and it was served cold.  The chicken remained moist and tender.  Probably cooked sous vide.  Served with a buttermilk ricotta mixture.  There was tobasco in the sauce, and a bit of fish roe served with it.  I found this dish to be mind blowing.  I was blown away by it.  Again, my friend was disappointed that it was not fried chicken.  I mean, did you expect to get a battered and deep fried chicken thigh at Chef Dufresne's restaurant?  I guess he did.

Duck pastrami was amazing.  Our server mentioned that it was a homage to Katz Deli.  This dish is a duck breast that was seasoned with similar seasoning to pastrami.  It's served with a thin slice of rye bread on the bottom and some greens to go along with it.  I loved this as well.  More than Katz?  Yes... yes indeed.  This was probably one of the more standard dishes that we had all night.

One of the strangest?  Eggs benedict.  We have thin canadian bacon.  Very thin.  Egg yolk painted on the dish.  And the hollandaise makes eggs benedict right?  Well it's there.  Can you find it?  It's hidden inside those cubes.  Breaded and fried.  So amazing.  This is the stuff that makes Chef Dufresne's reputation.

Skate wing.  What's not to like about this?  It's tender and juicy and moist.  Seared well and served with wonderful accompaniments.  Yucca, radish and and dates.  Though the dish looks very different, its flavors were more or less traditional.

Lamb shoulder.  Served with pistachio, spied apricots and an endive marmalade.  The combinations of flavors were interesting and unique.  Sweet apricot with rich lamb?  Yes, please!  A little pistachio "polenta"?  Yes!  These flavors are seen on thing such as pistachio lamb chops or sweet flavors braised with lamb shanks.  This 1-up'd the skate wings.

Wagyu steak served with black eye peas, figs and and some rutabega.  This steak was so amazing.  One of the rare occasions I've had the privilege of trying out wagyu beef.  The sweet figs went so well with the tender pieces of steak.  So good.

Dessert, doesn't have a name.  I was already stuffed so I didn't order dessert.  My other two dining partners did.  This was something with passion fruit and some acidic or tart sorbet.  It had some sort of citrus fruit too.  It was amazing.  Though I felt there were a lot of things going on, I solved this problem by a simple solution.  Don't eat everything together.  It solved the problem.

To be honest, I don't even remember what this was.  Frozen ice cream they said was some volcano thing.  It has the cold foam coming down to look like a volcano.  Chocolate sorbet.  Freeze dried corn.  Pretty good, but I preferred the first dessert that was more fruit and acidic based.

Dinner ended with a rice crispy treat.  It was pretty much rice crispy texture/flavor over ice cream.  Very unique.  And a great way to end.

Dinner for 3 after tax and tip was about $300.  Expect to spend but expect a night you won't forget.

50 Clinton Street
New York, NY 10002
(212) 477-2900