Address: 50 Clinton Street, New York


Phone: 212-477-2900

Yesterday Gan and I had the most wonderful gastronomy experience at Chef Wylie Dufresne's wd~50 restaurant!! This is by far, the BEST RESTAURANT we have tried in NYC, very different from all the other fine dining places.

wd~50 is famous for its molecular gastronomy cooking techniques and Chef Dufresne is one of the leaders in this field. Molecular gastronomy is basically the use of science to create new techniques of preparing and cooking food. Boy I have to say, we were totally blown away by the food that was created using this technique!

Every dish was spot on when it came to presentation, portion, taste, flavor and texture. There was not one dish that we dislike and to make the dinner even more perfect, we got a kitchen tour and we met with Chef Dufresne! Two thumbs up for wd~50!

Gan: We have only scratched the surface of the NYC restaurant scene and it would be presumptious to assume we're any sort of authority in bestowing any kind of accord like the prestigious Michelin rating or NY Times and Zagat rating. However, I must say I'm most impressed with wd~50 and it really opened my eyes (or should I say awakened my tongue) to what great food could really be. To most, the food here is avant-garde, with all the molecular gastronomy/experimental food cooking technique and what not, but to me, the thing that will probably stay with me for a while is how great the taste was for almost all the food we had that night. Not to say the presentation was shabby (it was really clean and beautiful) but if I can sum everything up for that night, it has to be TASTE.

Da Man ---- Caught a glimpse of Chef Dufresne at the Kitchen entrance. Wasn't sure if I was able to go say hi so I tried to snap pictures of him from my seat. I think he saw me :P Gan: I've never seen Sarah that excited before and did I imagine drool dripping down the side of her mouth? :-P

Nice marble wall deco at wd~50. Gan: The ambience of the restaurant was nice and comfortable. It was quite surprising for such a good restaurant, we were still able to get reservations at 6pm for 7:45pm on a Friday evening. It's probably due to the location at lower east side, which is more popular with the late night clubbing crowd. It's busy but not exactly crowded.

Sesame Flat Bread
Gan: It was quite messy affair.. lol.. crumbles all over the place after we're done

We kept checking out what other people were ordering. All the dishes looked amazing. Gan: There were some banking type crowd around our table. I guess the price limits it to a certain crowd from affordability perspective. We definitely can't make it a routine affair for us.

I like sweeter wines, so the waitress recommended Tokay Pinot Gris 'Marckrain' Martin Schaetzel 2004 Alsace, France. Lovely indeed! I can drink this every night. (or not! one bottle cost $64!)

Foie gras, mole lentils, quince yogurt - I love the foie gras appetizer (another cruel ingredient I should be swearing off - sigh). The mole lentils were actually not real lentils. it was created using some other ingredients to make it taste like lentils. I finished up everything and was still hungry for more. Gan: It was good. I didn't even realize the lentils were not really lentils. We were most recently reminded of this type of molecular gastronomy technique on Top Chef, with the colorful character Marcel. There was apparently a connection with wd~50 in the Marcel Egg Scandal.

Smoked eel, blood orange zest, black radish, chicken skin - Gan had the smoked eel for appetizer. Gan: I took a chance with this. Don't usually like smoked dishes but I thought.. what the heck, let's experiment! It was good.

Pork belly, radish, corn, miso-walnut, sour plum - Gan ordered this, it was magnificent!! Gan: This is justs amazing! Everything just worked.. and the thing that matters most, it tasted amazing. The plating was interesting and I thought they were using dirty plates! Lol. This has got to be one of my favorite dish ever.

Gan was in total bliss after taking a bite of his pork belly dish
Gan: That hit the right spot! Clean plate.

Duck breast, smoked hen o’ the woods, snow peas, rhubarb - Duck breast was very tender
Gan: I liked Sarah's duck as well. Very refine and flavorful.

Pre-dessert - raspberry sorbet with goat cheese. superb! Gan: This was my favorite of the 3 course dessert tasting menu. The licorice or the sorbet was salted.. and that was very pleasant for this desert. Previously, the dessert that was most memorable for me was the goat cheese sorbet or ice cream from Aquavit. I think I'll remember this for some time.

We both had the three course dessert tasting menu and this was the first --Creamsicle, rooibos, squash, orange blossom. Gan: This is just great as well. The ice covered creamy ice cream was just divine. Froth here again.. as has been on many of the dishes we had that night.

Yuzu, shortbread, spruce yogurt, pistachio - this is my favorite!
Gan: There's a lot of Asian ingredient influence as well. This is yet another great dish.

Cherry covered chocolate, molasses, lime - I was expecting hard chocolate, but I was surprised to find out that it was chocolate mousse underneath instead. very tasty, not too sweet and the molasses reminded me of the shrimp paste molasses we have in Malaysia for Rojak (fruit salad)

Complimentary sweets after the dinner. The one on the left was made of peanut butter, the right one tasted like yuzu soft candy. Gan: In a lot of restaurants, the sweets are usually an after thought or just the simple and safe truffle chocolate. I like that they kept giving here and gave sweets that are just such a culinary delight.

The restaurant's Maitre D' gave us a kitchen tour after the dinner. It was a dream came true for me! I was trying to contain my excitement the entire time so I don't end up scaring everyone in the kitchen! The station you see right in front is the hot food station and that was where Daniel Boulud and a couple of other chefs, food critics and celebrities ate during a dinner hosted by Chef Dufresne in an episode of After Hour with Daniel. Gan: It was a real treat. It's always a good sign of a great restaurant to see the chef-owner still very involved in the daily operation of the restaurant. For restaurants to be willing to show the gut of the operation to the customers, they must put themselves on a very high standard.

Chef was kind of camera shy... lol

We were so excited to meet him!! Gan: Chef Wylie is indeed an impressive chef. We'll definitely be back for more. It's really an unforgettable culinary experience.

wd-50 on Urbanspoon


Laura said...

OMG--Absolutely AMAZING!

Anonymous said...

see, another reason to go to TAILOR. tailor's owner/founder/headchef is the ex pastry chef from wd~50. it's all in the family. cool that you got to meet wilie dufresne... ravi

Sarah & Gan said...

Yea! I actually found out that Sam Mason used to be the pastry chef at wd~50 from daniel boulud's tv show "After Hour with Daniel". I checked out Tailor after you told me about it and then I saw him on Daniel's show. He has alot of tattoos on his arms, so it wasn't difficult to recognize him :) Flickr also has some pictures of desserts he made when he was still in wd~50 and they looked lovely. will definitely try Tailor.

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