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WD-50 - tasty or just weird?

MarkC Jan 28, 2007 09:38 PM

I'm coming to NY in a few weeks, and have been reviewing all of the great feedback on this site. Regarding WD-50, I like innovative food as much as the next guy, but a lot of the reviews I've seen of this restaurant, even the positive ones, seem somehow tentative, as though people aren't sure whether they really like it or not. Given limited time, is this one of the "must do" restaurants?

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  1. Nosher RE: MarkC Jan 29, 2007 01:40 AM

    I vote yay on WD-50, but it looks as if Wylie Dufresne is on this week's Top Chef finale, so if you want to make a booking, do it NOW.


    NYCnosh* http://nycnosh.com

    1. aroundthewaygirl RE: MarkC Jan 30, 2007 07:49 AM

      My husband and I went to WD-50 for my birthday in May. We went all-out and ordered the full 9-course tasting menu with the accompanying paired drinks. We loved the experience of it all, and it was very New York-y feeling. But in the end, I'd say that it was more "neat" than "good." The highlight for us was probably the deconstructed steak sandwich, which was a pickled calf's tongue with little fried cubes of mayonnaise and tiny granules of onion. You can actually look at a picture of it on their web site (click the little camera): http://www.wd-50.com/menu.php. Some things weren't as successful, like a smoked eel dish with some kind of caramel foam sauce. We spent well over $400, and it was worth it to do it once, but I'd be very unlikely to go back.

      1 Reply
      1. re: aroundthewaygirl
        Melanie RE: aroundthewaygirl Jan 30, 2007 11:37 AM

        How funny! I liked the eel dish much more than the calf's tongue dish

      2. x
        xigua RE: MarkC Jan 30, 2007 08:07 AM

        If you are short of time and like sweets, you might consider doing a dessert tasting. I had a fantastic experience in Dec with both the 3 and 5 course tastings. Beautiful presentation, ample portions, interesting flavor combinations and a very fun and interactive experience as me and my friends test our flavor recognition skills!


        1. k
          KateC. RE: MarkC Jan 30, 2007 11:54 AM

          It's very uneven, but the great stuff is truly great. If you can manage to go with a party of four and get a booth, you'll have more fun than if you're two at a regular table in the middle. I love it. But I haven't been there in the last two years and it could have changed. I find the fancier places like Le Bernadin totally boring. If you could only go to one place, the real must-do New York restaurant is Babbo -- it's also a good value for the money, all things considered. Also, if you are coming in the summer, Shake Shack -- a hamburger stand in a park, though it's not worth a 45-minute wait. A seafood place like Mary's Fish Camp or Aquagrille (oysters are the thing to have there) can also be good. And on the ultra-cheap side, there are some only-in-New-York experiences such as Veselka, the 24-hour Ukranian coffee shop in the East Village (get the borscht and boiled piroshki) and Gray's Papaya -- the hot dog stand.

          1. streamwise RE: MarkC Jan 31, 2007 07:43 PM

            I was just there recently and for the first time ordered a la carte with the dessert tasting, and it was extraordinary. I had the malted chestnut soup, the foie gras, and the pork belly. All were perfect. Having done the tasting menu many times, I would definitely say its a bit more hit and miss, but either way you won't be disappointed.

            1. k
              kayonyc RE: MarkC Jan 31, 2007 07:50 PM

              I absolutely loved it, and so did the boyfriend, when I took him out to try their tasting menu. I loved the way Wylie thinks outside the box - and still manages to come up with something very tasty.

              1. aesis RE: MarkC Feb 1, 2007 06:10 PM

                I did the tasting menu a while back and thought all the dishes were really memorable but I don't think I'd ever order them again. The desserts on the other hand were amazing! I'm still craving the Shortbread + jasmine ice cream + banana + saffron combo.

                My full recap, pictures and all are up here:

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