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WD-50: Recs and a Question

Heading to WD-50 tomorrow night and wanted to see if anyone who'd been there lately could offer some recommendations (would love to try the tasting menu, but it's too pricey for us).

Also, I heard from a friend that the portions are skimpy and you leave hungry. True?

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  1. To me, WD~50 is more of a culinary experience than just one individual thing.

    If you're into food that's fresh, fun, innovative, and usually tasty, then it's for you. (Flavor-wise it can vary, but usually good.) Like most fine-dining/upscale restaurants, portions are not huge. But I would never define them as skimpy. You will be exposed to some new things you've likely never seen before, maybe not. But overall it's a fun experience, great service & servers, not stuffy and stuck-up, good food, different, etc.

    Check their website for price idea. You can still have a great meal without doing the tasting menu. 2-3 courses is more than enough. And make sure one of those courses is dessert as well. Sharing with each other will widen the experience.

    http://www.wd-50.com/

    1. I haven't been in the past year, but from what I recall, portions are ample enough. I remember at least three lamb chops in the entree portion, and appetizers that were able to be split among three people, each of us ending up with a Thomas Keller-size portion.

      1. yes i am in the small portions, may be too esoteric camp. i am not afraid of kitchen creativity whatsoever, however I think Wylie can be a little too wrapped up in himslef with regard to funky cooking. That said who am I too challenge such a culinary savant... Seriously, I think although the chef is obviosly talented, but there a million places I would recommend before the full of itself WD-50.

        1. i wasnt stuffed, but i wasn't starving either. the "bread" they give you is basically paper more or less. I started with tounge and deep fried mayo cubes which was not much. They did give me a good amount of pork belly which was fantastic. I had a menthol, sorbet, dessert which was really interesting and good too. It really depends on what you order, but appetizers are quite small. they also gave out a compimentary piece of red snapper with a corn relish/gele of some sort too which was good

          1 Reply
          1. re: Burnzes

            I appreciate all the feedback. My impression was much like those from Jsmitty and Burnzes. First of all, I didn't find portion size a problem at all. What I did find, though, is that while most of the food was quite beautiful and creative, it didn't live up in deliciousness.

            Also, in some instances, instructions for eating might be helpful. I know that sounds ridiculous, but I'm told they do this at El Bulli. In many cases, everything is dotted and splattered on the plate, and it's confusing -- I didn't know if I was supposed to eat them in some order, or all together.

            Also, is there a reason why so many ingredients are in cubes there?

            And one final observation -- does it seem like people who order off the menu get short shrift there? It seemed like those who ordered the tasting menu were rewarded with much more creative food and also better service.. but I'm not sure if this is a case of the grass being greener....

            You wouldn't know it from my post, but we still did have a great time....

          2. I'm going next week... I've booked a tasting menu for 2 with fish n veg, but no meat - with wine pairings. I plan to post here what happens. My dining partner has no idea what's in store...

            1 Reply
            1. re: Peg

              When I visited, the kitchen was very accommodating with my vegetarian requests. I found our server to also be very well-educated on the menu and wines. I'm a bit confused like Oliverstreet - two out of three of my dishes had cubes! The dishes are definitely a trip for your mouth, but I enjoyed every bite. I didn't find them too exotic, but of course, mine were all vegetarian.

            2. Just went there a week ago. It was amazing. Get the pork belly (main dish). I also recommend the foie gras appetizer (with "lentils"). And, if you can afford it, the 3 course dessert tasting menu!

              1. i went a couple days ago with 2 friends. here's my thoughts.

                first - service was great. everyone was very attentive to our needs. if you get the tasting menu, everyone at the table has to get it (for time / obvious reasons; it's a 2 hour 9 course menu). my friends were different; one wanted no seafood, the other wanted to avoid certain oddball meats / related items (ie. no foie gras). they had zero problems accomodating this.

                i'm no wine expert - one friend had the wine pairings, and said they were all wines were at least good, and went very well with what he ate.

                the fried mayo dish is one of the better known ones, but i wasn't really knocked out by it. the tongue tasted out of this world and like nothing you'd expect - so thin and wonderful. and i was underwhelmed by the first few courses...but everything kicked in with the langoustine (spelling?) and squab dishes were so out of this world awesome. the dessert dishes also kicked in some amazing flavour combinations.

                my friend had some smoky noodles dish as one of his courses, where the smoke flavor blew you away.

                it wasn't a super ton of food. but it was really really good. i can't wait to go back at some point.

                1 Reply
                1. re: bob gaj

                  I was there earlier this week - my friend had the 'normal' tasting menu, I had a menu with no meat (I did have fish). There were other diners having fully veggie tasting menus, and they also offered 'no red meat', and even vegan options. We had the 3 courses of deserts too - definitely a highlight.
                  The wine pairings were 'paired' with the dishes on the 'normal' tasting menu - some didn't really go with what I was eating (so I drank them after I'd eaten the food). When it was noticed we'd been waiting a long time between a couple of the middle courses, the wine waiter poured is an extra glass, which was a nice touch.

                  I tasted the fried mayo off my friend's plate - and thought it too rich (so did she. but she managed to eat it all!). We both loved the shrimp tarragon meringue balls and the langoustine on popcorn puree..and the miso soup was divine. I thought my chestnut soup would have been better without the dried salmon shavings, which only detracted from the lovely texture and subtle flavour of the soup.
                  Some listed flavours were too subtle to discern - but I guess they worked together as a whole.
                  Of the deserts the yuzu curd/pistachio was the best - and we thought it should have been served after the chocolate and coffee deserts, as it was so refreshing.

                  I didn't take notes - I did see a lot of diners taking photos of each plate of food, which I thought a bit tacky. As we were sitting in a row of 4 tables of people having the tasting menu there was a lot of lively inter-table discussion, which certainly added to the whole experience.
                  The food was not as 'wierd' as I'd expected - the friend I took is a much more conservative eater than I, and I was afraid she'd hate it - but she declared it the best meal she'd ever had. The chap on the next table, who'd been dragged there by his girlfriend, said that as it was his turn next to choose they'd be going to Burger King. I guess not everyone can be a fan.
                  Would I go again?
                  Definitely.