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WD-50 -- recommendations, tips, warnings, advice, admonishments?

Just made reservations for my first trip to WD-50 (a Friday night reservation at 9:30). Seeking any and all tips, warnings, recommendations, etc., etc.

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  1. my suggestions would be to get the pork belly and the dessert tasting menu, among other things, of course. Oh! And I do hope your companions are the sharing type...half the fun is tasting everything (then again, I would probably say that about every restaurant!)

    Enjoy and please report back!

    1. Is Sam Mason still there doing desseet? I don't think so, but I don't know. If not, what's the new pastry chef like?

      1. In my opinion, if it's your first time at WD-50, you must get the full tasting menu. Period. It's by far the best way to explore the interesting food. One dish, on its own, doesn't really give you a sense of Wylie's creativity.

        The new pastry chef is from Alinea in Chicago. I haven't had the new menu yet (and don't know if it's started), but it will be great. Alinea is fantastic....and in some ways even more "creative" than WD-50. It will be a great fit....and a good chance for Sam to do his own thing.

        7 Replies
        1. re: mas

          When I saw that Sam Mason was leaving I thought to myself...who could replace him? and the first thing that popped into my mind was Alinea.

          It was no shock when I read that Alex Stupack was headed to NYC.

          1. re: mas

            The tasting menu is great and very adventurous! I'm sure it still includes the famous fried mayonnaise. I'd skip the wine pairing, though, as I found the sensory overload to be a bit much on its own.

            FYI, the tasting menu can be a little tiring since it's so extensive and long. When I went it took about 3 hours from start to finish, and afterwards, I ended up eating a slice of bread just to give my tastebuds something "normal."

            If Wylie is in, try to meet him, and/or get a tour of the kitchen.

            1. re: kathryn

              what do you mean by "sensory overload"?

              I plan to be in NYC The first weekend of of November, and plan to eat tasting menu's in two establishments. I have decided to make WD-50 the first as it is really pushing on the boundries of what food can be and I very much want to experience it. I'd definitely planned to go with the paired wines, and was just wondering why you found it to be an overload.

              From what I've gathered, they pour one wine for about every two courses.

              Thanks,
              Bill
              ps...the other restaurant is currently undecided if you're wondering, but that's a different post

              1. re: bobzemuda

                I really like WD-50 but am not sure that it really qualifies as boundary-pushing. Certainly not like Moto or anything.

                1. re: dbird

                  The place in Williamsburg? Huh? What boundaries have they pushed? I've never had a meal there that I would qualify as passable or even edible in some cases.

                  1. re: dbird

                    "I really like WD-50 but am not sure that it really qualifies as boundary-pushing."

                    I'm sorry to be rude but are we talking about the same WD-50? I'm not saying it's El Bulli but it's clearly cut from the same cloth.

                  2. re: bobzemuda

                    The tasting menu by itself is enough sensory overload without the matching wines, for me, at least. My meal was actually 10 courses since the kitchen sent out something they were testing. There was also a sorbet for a palate cleanser, and cocoa cotton balls at the end, in addition to the 10 courses. I was busy enough tasting the courses that I wasted most of the wine.

                    I found that my mouth just go tired of having all of these different combinations and textures towards the end, especially since the "experimental" dish turned out to be vile (cocoa-dashi soup with lemon yogurt noodles).

              2. My advice is to make sure you try a cocktail at the bar. The bartender is awesome and the drinks excellent -- a thoroughly underappreciated aspect of WD-50.

                1. For those of you who have been to WD-50 can you comment on the room itself? I'd like to go here for an upcoming special occasion and wonder how the comfort and ambiance rate on your chart. I see that the same architecture firm that designed Blue Hill at Stone Barns (which is a beautiful space) did WD-50. Any comments? Thanks in advance.

                    1. Thanks everyone for your helpful recommendations/suggestions. I went last night and ended up having the 9-course tasting menu, which like kathryn's ended up being 10 courses plus a palate cleanser and corn caramels at the end of the meal.

                      We passed on the wine pairing, which I think was a wise move as we had our hands full with the flavors on the plate.

                      Check out my full report with lots of photos here:

                      http://www.billkang.com/article/887/

                      Thanks again, everyone.

                      2 Replies
                        1. re: Melanie

                          i agree! from looking at your report & pictures i have decided to finally go to wd-50. thanks (although it seems that my bank account will not be thanking you.)