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Feb 28, 2007 11:13 AM

WD-50 is not "weird" enough

Friends are coming into town who think WD-50 is not "weird" enough and want a more crazy culinary experience. I know about places with offal tasting menus and stuff, I'm just looking for more specific places and/or experienes. Thanks in advance.

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  1. Varietal is new, and "weird." I've heard mixed reactions about the food, with the desserts getting a slightly warmer reaction. What Jordan Kahn is doing is certainly experimental. For less experimental, turn to Room 4 Dessert.

    Momofuku Ssam Bar is kind of "weird" if you think about the innovative cooking and combinations of ingredients. And there's definitely offal on the menu.

    What about Blue Ribbon? The rest of the menu is not really weird but you can get bone marrow. I would also offer up Prune as slightly offbeat as well.

    Are you into yakitori at all? You can certainly get unusual items (chicken gizzard, tongue, etc.) at Yakitori Totto.

    And have you given any thought to Chinatown?

    7 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Though not molecular gastro, Yakitori Totto followed by dessert at Kyotofu might just be the Midtown/Hell's Kitchen combo to beat all.

      1. re: Spoony Bard

        I love Kyotofu, and if Asian = weird, then go for it, rockchick!

      2. re: kathryn

        gizzards and tongue are wierd?

        1. re: MVNYC

          They're not weird to me, but they certainly count as offbeat and "crazy" to some people.

          1. re: kathryn

            Right, I'm not sure how many top-notch Yakitori-yas there are in Chicago, but I'm pretty certain they don't have a tofu dessert emporium like Kyotofu.

            Also, besides gizzards and tongues at Totto there's hearts, various forms of cartilage, tail, chicken sashimi, and something the New Yorker describes as seaweed in goo (mekabu).


            Again, not Adria, but still cutting-edge for many.

          2. re: MVNYC

            Unborn bees are . . .don't know if you can get them in Chinatown.

            1. re: financialdistrictresident

              You're refering to the Japanese dish of bee larvae in sweet honey soy sauce, hachinoko. Chikubu on E44th has them. One day when I've got the nerve I'll try them, but wingman seemed to like them:


        2. Thanks for the response Kathryn! I thought of Momofuku Ssam Bar and Varietal. Apparently, these people don't want weird animal intestines of the like, but more molecular gastronomy - they're from Chicago which apparently has a bigger pool to choose from along those lines. Thanks again.

          2 Replies
          1. re: rockchick

            WD-50 is the only one of its kind in NYC.

            1. re: rockchick

              You're welcome!

              For molecular gastro, Lucia's right, it's all about WD-50, with Room 4 Dessert to a lesser extent.

              Although when Sam Mason finally opens up Tailor, that will be a welcome addition to the scene.

            2. Chicago foodies should know that Chicago is pretty much the center of the molecular gastronomy scene and that they can't expect NYC to top it. Instead, take them to eat something that NYC is better than Chicago for (e.g., everything else).

              3 Replies
              1. re: jakew8

                yuck... I don't know about you, but I don't want to pay top dollar for dinner and be served disguised methylcellulose! I prefer to eat real food.

                1. re: ChefJune

                  I don't understand what that means. Does WD serve Methylcellulose? Because, I was there for Valentines day, and if I ate some, that was some good Methylcellulose and I'll eat it again!

                  1. re: Tal

                    I think that CJ is talking about the stuff Grant Achatz and those like him are doing in Chicago.

                    Read up here:

              2. Does anyone else find WD-50 and Wylie's cooking somewhat annoying? I left hungry, kept searching for more flavor and was not impressed with his penchant for "over creativity." I am not afraid of esoteria in the kitchem, but this was too much. As far as more weird... Hmm? I need help..

                4 Replies
                  1. re: eatfood

                    forgive me for not remembering. i just remember the experience being a let down. i guess if i jump in i should technically remember... i am more than willing to try again...

                    1. re: jsmitty

                      I actually did not find it weird or over-the-edge. I appreciate his effort and creativity in transforming some food into unexpected forms / shapes, as long as it tastes good. Some of his inventions that I found tasteful and innovative are the fried mayo, different kinds of "noodles", and different shapes of foie gras. I am not entirely into anything in "dust" or "decontrusted" forms, but there are many interesting combinations of new and old cooking methods and ingredigents that made WD 50 special and great.

                      I think it is a fine line between innovative or over-the-edge, and it really depends on personal taste and preference. There is nothing wrong if you don't like Wylie's food, and there is really no need to force yourself to accept it either.

                      To me, I can just take innovative dishes to a certain level as well. When you start asking me to eat with a test tube or to wear a ipod to eat (in Moto in Chicago), that's when I feel I have enough. Then again, there are plenty of people who like Moto's food, so it's just my personal preference, no offense to the food itself.

                  2. re: jsmitty

                    Yes, WD-50 can be a polarizing place. Many folks find its experiments pretentious. Friends I've taken seem to either love or hate it.

                  3. Re: Varietal - There was nothing "weird" or unusual about the food. The desserts are more adventurous. Go for their desserts.

                    WD 50 is probably the tastiest/ "weirdest" for savory food. Moto in Chicago was the only one that topped the experience.