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Loved WD-50, is there another retaurant in NYC as creative?

hamahoney Jan 16, 2007 04:48 PM

Last time I was in NYC I ate at WD-50. What an interesting meal! I will be in town this weekend and would love to find another restaurant where the chef is really thinking about food. I've done Masa, Alain Ducasse etc, am looking for something really different, any suggestions?

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  1. k
    kathryn RE: hamahoney Jan 16, 2007 08:46 PM

    Here's what I wrote in another thread:

    "Ahhh "molecular gastronomy." Not that much in NYC, especially now that 71 Clinton is gone.

    "Seconding WD-50, and the Dessert Tasting at Varietal in Chelsea.

    "If you're interested in the dessert angle then I'd also take a look at Room 4 Dessert, Chikalicious, Kyotofu, the dessert tasting at WD-50 (current pastry chef is Alex Stupak, ex-Alinea).

    "There are also a few places that are coming soon: Sam Mason (ex-WD-50)'s not-yet-open dessert place, Tailor, and P*ONG."

    3 Replies
    1. re: kathryn
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      Cpalms RE: kathryn Jan 16, 2007 09:14 PM

      Try Momofuku Ssam...very creative, very good way different than wd-50...hard to define the menu, go after 6pm for the night menu...

      1. re: Cpalms
        dkstar1 RE: Cpalms Jan 16, 2007 11:05 PM

        agree with both the Ssam Bar and the Room 4 Dessert recommendations. Recently went back for the umpteenth time to Momofuku Ssam Bar and had the Bahn Mi sandwich (after 6pm) and the pork belly buns. The Bahn Mi sandwich was pretty much incredible (a little small but still filling) and the pork belly bun was really good, but I actually prefer the pre-6pm version that uses pork shoulder. Slightly more flavorful though not as decadent as the belly.

        1. re: dkstar1
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          Cpalms RE: dkstar1 Jan 17, 2007 01:04 AM

          Yeah, SSam's Bahn Mi are tops IMO in the city right now. The pre 6pm pulled pork cole slaw buns were excellent, i prefer them as well, but then again they are both awesome. The benton's ham alone is enough to make the trip. there is so much to explore on that
          menu, its really a great place. I hope they are able to keep the quality and creativity up.

    2. n
      nuxvomica RE: hamahoney Jan 17, 2007 02:03 AM

      i like Ssam Bar and esp. the banh me but that's no wd-50 food...

      dessert-wise, Jordan Kahn's desserts at Varietal and Will Goldfarb's at Room 4 Dessert blow Stupak's dessert tasting at wd-50 out of the water (but that was an early-ish visit so maybe the desserts are better integrated now)

      for savory dishes? hmm, JOse Andres' Mini Bar in DC? Chicago?

      1 Reply
      1. re: nuxvomica
        k
        kathryn RE: nuxvomica Jan 18, 2007 04:32 AM

        Agreed -- as much as I love Ssam Bar, it's not really WD-50-ish, which is what the OP was going for.

        But, yes, you'll have to take a bus or plane to get to more restaurants like WD-50:
        http://www.chow.com/stories/10411

        I really must get myself over to Varietal, and soon...

      2. d
        dbird RE: hamahoney Jan 17, 2007 02:09 AM

        Have you been to Tabla? Don't bother with the bread bar, but the restaurant is a minor revelation.

        7 Replies
        1. re: dbird
          hamahoney RE: dbird Jan 17, 2007 04:23 PM

          yes, which I love. We eat there almost every time in NYC.

          1. re: hamahoney
            d
            dbird RE: hamahoney Jan 17, 2007 10:47 PM

            Ok, then how about Sumile? I haven't been in over a year for no good reason; I had a fabulous dinner there right before Josh de Chellis went to Jovia (where his food was completely different, and not for the better); I know he left Jovia and is perhaps back at Sumile? There was that other restaurant that fell through in the mean time-- Kobe Steak?--unsure about what kind of relationship he has maintained with Sumile through this process. I tried to get a read from this board a few months back but no responses. It's on my list though. Re Urena-- I posted on this somewhere. Food is great but not great enough to overcome egregious deficits in service, room, etc.

            Momofuku may be a little overhyped but it certainly meets your criteria. I don't think all the dishes on the new ssam bar menu have been sorted out yet (I had an inedibly salty chawan mushi and a not quite there uni dish the other week) but it's smart and serious and not self-important and will tease your brain a bit even as you fall ravenously on your plate.

            1. re: dbird
              hamahoney RE: dbird Jan 18, 2007 03:31 PM

              hmm, well here is the plan for Saturday;
              lunch at momofuku
              dinner back at WD~50
              go listen to music or have a drink somewhere
              and then late dessert at Room 4 Dessert

              That sounds like a nice day, no?

              1. re: hamahoney
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                Nehna RE: hamahoney Jan 18, 2007 07:02 PM

                I'd go to Milk and Honey or Pegu Club for the drink :)

                1. re: Nehna
                  hamahoney RE: Nehna Jan 19, 2007 12:57 PM

                  Is this the place you meant?
                  http://www.mlkhny.com/newyork/
                  I think it might be private...Pegu looks interesting though...

                  1. re: hamahoney
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                    Nehna RE: hamahoney Jan 19, 2007 03:42 PM

                    Yes that's milk and honey...no, not private, just a hard number to come by (it's sort of a speak-easy). Pegu's great too but not quite as good as M&H. And there's a new 'high end/innovative' bar called Death & Co. in the EV that I havent been to yet but looks fantastic.

              2. re: dbird
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                ceeceee RE: dbird Jan 18, 2007 05:19 PM

                i was thinking of sumile as well. pretty interesting creations. not your typical fusion fare.

          2. r
            RGR RE: hamahoney Jan 17, 2007 03:39 AM

            I haven't yet been to Urena, but from what I've heard, Alex Urena, who spent time with Adria some time back, is serving interesting Spanish-inspired cuisine.

            Varietal is a brand new restaurant. The dessert chef is Jordan Kahn. From discussion and photos on another food forum, his creations are *very* unusual!

            1 Reply
            1. re: RGR
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              nuxvomica RE: RGR Jan 17, 2007 07:17 PM

              the desserts at Varietal are not only 'unusual' but also very good . i especially liked the celery and chocolate gel ones. the maitake mushroom caramel is truly amazing - i could just get a jar of it and a spoon. worth stopping by just for desserts, IMO.

            2. n
              nuxvomica RE: hamahoney Jan 19, 2007 06:20 PM

              Sumile has changed rather dramatically since its opening - it's now Sumile Sushi, the menu looked very different the other night but i think de Chellis is back there for the time being (he was there one night recently. we looked at the new menu but it didn't wow us). not sure how long or how often - i hear they're opening a place in Japan

              Death & Co is quite good and should work for you geographically (as would milk & honey). it's pretty small though and 'hot' right now so it will be crowded on a weekend. if you are a large party (6+), they take reservations on weekends after 8pm. i like their signature drinks, although found them a touch sweet for my taste. the daiquiri with mescal is wonderful and the tequila oldfashioned interesting take on the classic. and the pink lady was delicious

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