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Apr 8, 2007 06:35 AM

Dinner with Dad: WD-50, Tabla, or Wallse?

So, my dad is coming in a couple of weeks and we must, of course, go out to some great dinner. For some reason, I've narrowed it down to these three (I've not been to any before). Wallse caught my eye a while ago and I've been really curious--the food sounds great and I think German/Austrian food is underrated. Tabla, too, sounds good, though I think I'd opt for the Bread Bar. And WD-50 is one of those places where I just feel like I *need* to get to sometime for that molecular gastronomic-type experience.

Any suggestions? I'd like something *great*, but preferably not too splashy; and something other than Italian or French.

Thanks, friends.

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  1. I have been to Tabla's Bread Bar, and thoroughly enjoyed it...The room is small and a bit loud, but very attractive...You can pick from several small dishes, and they bring them all, so you can end up with quite a spread...I particularly enjoyed their cheddar naan and oxtail samosis, a special that night...It is not a formal or stuffy environment at the bread is almost like Indian "tapas"...By the time you drink and eat these "tapas" it is not cheap either...Overall a good experience, and I would definitely return...

    1. Unless your Dad is into molecular gastronomy I would reconsider WD50 - don't get me wrong - Wylie Dufresne is the only chef in NYC doing what he's doing, but it's not everyone's cup of tea if you know what I mean. When I went my partner was very unenthusiastic and I was over-the-top super impressed. Both ends of the spectrum at one small table!

      The upstairs at Tabla is one of the best dining experiences I've had, beautiful room, service and food. Depending on when you go the Bread Bar can be a zoo.

      Never been to Wallse so can't comment.

      1. I think Tabla is considered Indian-inspired New American. I've not been, but I have been to Bread Bar. The food's fine, but nothing to really rave about.

        If you would like a restaurant with absolutely superb *Indian* cuisine, I highly recommend Devi. The dishes are based on recipes from Executive Chef Suvir Saran's family and friends in India, kicked up many notches. There is an excellent wine list, and the space has unique, elegant decor. Upscale for Indian but totally worth it!

        1 Reply
        1. re: RGR

          I have to say Devi and Tamarind seem to get the prize for modern Indian... Over time I have heard few bad things with respect to the two.....

        2. I loved Tabla. I went there a few years ago and sat downstairs in The Bread Bar. The upstairs is a little fussy it seems. Great drinks. The food was shared plates. I thought it was yummy!

          5 Replies
          1. re: tigersmom

            Have you actually eaten at Tabla? As I said, I have not, but the small plates menu at Bread Bar is *entirely different* from Tabla's menu.

            1. re: RGR

              I feel like I'm leaning towards Wallse, though I'm not sure why exactly. Any word on that?

              1. re: goya123

                We loved Tabla and also liked the bread bar a lot (have been there several times). I am not sure about taking Dad to Tabla. The ambiance is a bit romantic (low lights, candles, etc) and is well suited for a date of some sort. The bread bar would be fine, however, I would take Dad to Bouley. Same price range as Tabla, beautiful food, great service and even though there is the opportunity for a romantic dinner, there is a relaxed / casual feel about the place that's well suited for a get together with a group of friends or family. An other recommendation would be Blue Hill or Dennis Foy, Both place serve very good food in a similar price range. Wallse? I am not sure. It's a bit of a hit or miss deal. Just my 2 cents.

                1. re: goya123

                  yes it's the best of the three. i am not a fan of defresne's pretentious food at wd-50. i know that will incur comments from many, tabla is overrated. wallse is consistently good for me...

              2. re: tigersmom

                I was totally underwhlemed by Tabla. I think the most ordinary of all Danny Meyer restaurants.

              3. I don't know where your dad lives, what he likes to eat, what he expects from a restaurant, etc--does he like adventure when eating? Something familiar? Spices?
                Of the three, Wallse is the safe pick-it's a wonderful spot, great service, and very high quality. Nice wine list, great desserts, and you can have a long conversation.
                Tabla is a great favorite of mine. Indian-inpired cooking (I would agree with RGR-if you are looking for actual Indian, Devi is the best) with many little extras...there's nothing too hot, but unusual spices are used (if you don't eat Indian food). If you go, ask for a table by the window-the view of Madison Park is terrific. I would not advise the bread bar-it's just not good for a conversation with dad.
                WD-50 is only good if he likes "odd" food combinations. I have enjoyed dining there, but it's not for everyone. The space is fine, but I've known folks who eat out all the time who hate the food-best not to risk it for a special night out.

                1 Reply
                1. re: David W

                  I've been to all 3 and liked all of them. But, unless your father is a true blooded foodie. I wouldn't consider bringing him to Wd-50 as well. Wallse and the Tabla Dining Room upstairs will both suit for a nice serene dinner with your dad. I've brought my parents to both places and they both liked it. It really would depend more on what type of food your dad likes best. Tabla is more Indian inspired New American while Wallse is Austrian/German food that tends to be more suited to cold wintery nights. Other places, that I would also consider will be Gramercy Tavern and Aquavit.