Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Sep 20, 2006 08:53 PM

Nobu or WD-50?

Ok- so everyone ignored my post asking for suggestions, so here it goes refrased, maybe I'll have better luck:

I am contemplating Nobu or WD-50 as possible places to celebrate my 35th B-day. Comparisons, suggestions of what to order or dismissals (with alternatives suggested, even better!) would be great. Looking to spend about $100 per person.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I've only been to WD~50 and I enjoyed it. It's not, however, for everyone - and could make for a tricky dinner if your companions aren't as adventurous. That being said, you might also spend more than $100pp there.

    As for Nobu...I've only been to the one in London and wasn't terribly impressed.

    I'd like to make the following recommendation because it is a different place with a different type of style/cuisine (the WD~50 factor) in a stylish and artsy space (the Nobu factor).

    And that place is Wallse.

    It has enough buzz that the right people know about it, but isn't mainstream enough to make you hate it. It also happens to be a cool room(s) (get a table in the back room where its a bit quieter) with slightly bizarre artwork and delicious modern Austrian cuisine.

    2 Replies
    1. re: dkstar1

      It'll be just my husband and me. We are adventurous, so the 'weird' factor doesn't worry me- I am more preoccupied with having a great meal, not one that isn't so mcuh because it tries too hard.I know the board is divided among fans and haters of WD-50, thus wanting a comparison with something else. But I am afraid I might be too late for Nobu...

      As for Wallse, I am not a great fan of Austrian cuisine (Danube was very tasty, but still, that type of cuisine doesn't move me so much)...

      1. re: adamandeve

        then give WD~50 a shot. You will have to go a la carte (which is fine but depending on how you order, sometimes not a lot of food) to stay in your I would go for something heartier, like the pork belly dish and the like. That pork belly dish is excellent.

    2. I've been to Nobu twice, and both times, they treated me knowing that they could fill the seat if I hadn't reserved it. Don't get me wrong, I know that is the case with most popular places, but that doesn't mean that it has to be so blatant.

      For example, I was there for a birthday with my girlfriend at the time (the second time I was there), and brought it to the attention of our server that there was a gnat in her wine. The server replied with "ok". No follow up question, nothing. At that point, I asked for the manager, explaining the situation. I even went out of my way to state that I had brought my girlfriend there because I had expected a certain level of service and professionalism from Nobu. At that point, the manager simply replaced the glass of wine (charging me for only one glass of wine).

      Now while I will say that I don't expect anything for free, the lack of any response on their part was very off-putting.

      My experience at WD-50, however, was completely the opposite. I have been there twice, and both times I have had the tasting menu (it is $105 a person). The first time, I met Wiley himself in his kitchen. The second time, I had gone back and had the tasting menu again (within a week of the first), and the soux chef was kind enough to mix it up for me (with different dishes). Again, I met the soux chef and thanked him for his effort.

      If you are not a fan of experimental cuisine, do not go to WD-50 though. It is definitely experimental, and you have to have somewhat of an open mind to experience it. However, if you do, it is definitely worth it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: casperOne

        I have always liked the food at Nobu, but it is just not good enough (at least not anymore) to compensate for the snotty vibe.

      2. I've never been to Nobu, but like other 'hounders above I'd like to recommend WD-50--especially given that you and your husband are adventurous eaters. I strongly recommend their tasting menu, which is priced at $105--unfortunately, that means you'll get a good chunk higher than $100pp after drinks, tax, and tip. I had a marvelous time--the service was swift, attentive and friendly and the food was magnificent.

        Here's the recent thread I started on it:

        1. Hmm... this is making me want to go to WD-50, although it seems that doing the tasting menu would be the way to go. Would it be worth it otherwise?

          1 Reply
          1. re: adamandeve

            Given that a lot of the fun of WD-50 is the unusual flavor combinations and preparations, I would say the tasting menu is absolutely the way to go, since it maximizes your exposure!