Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Jan 16, 2007 04:48 PM

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

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?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. 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

      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

        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

          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. The original comment has been removed
      1. 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

          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:

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

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

          7 Replies
          1. re: dbird

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

            1. re: hamahoney

              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

                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

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

                  1. re: Nehna

                    Is this the place you meant?
                    I think it might be private...Pegu looks interesting though...

                    1. re: hamahoney

                      Yes that's milk and, 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

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

            2. 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

                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.