HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >


Degustation & WD-50: What to order?

Hey 'hounders,
I'm planning to go to Degustation this week with another foodie friend. I want to know what should I order from their menu? Any "must get" dishes or should I just go for their $50 tasting course?

In terms of WD-50, I'm thinking of just getting their prix fixe dessert...should I do that or just go for one specific dessert?

Any suggestions would help for either place.
Thanks in advance!


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. personally, id skip the tasting menu. i guess it depends on the type of eater you are but the only dishes at degustation that i thoroughly enjoyed were the sweetbreads, the scallops, the squid with shortribs, and the asparagus with rice cracker and egg. nothing else was particularly amazing. but i did enjoy my evening there and would order those items on my next visit.

    1. For WD 50:

      You have to have to have to get the Hanger Steak Tartare. And then they have this funky avocado/chocolate ice cream dessert. Definitely recommend getting the tasting menu, fun cocktails, and then the tasting menu for dessert too if you wanna be really experimental. It's so cheap for what it is, in my opinion. Great choice.

      2 Replies
      1. re: doona

        What cocktails would you suggest? My friend is a fiend for unusual cocktails.

        1. re: doona

          IIRC, the tasting menu for WD-50 is quite long and includes 2 desserts, which I thought was more than enough food.

          I got palate fatigue halfway through!

        2. WD-50 is one of my favorite restaurants in the city. I always order the tasting menu and am never disappointed.

          1. Tina, take me with you! Seriously, you are in for a treat. Alex Stupak is a dessert god! Definitely get the creamsicle and the chocolate.

            I was at WD-50 in April and decided to skip the dessert tasting since there was other stuff I wanted to try. We ordered five desserts between the two of us. My review:

            Yogurt parfait, pine, apple, pineapple (get it?) -- Absolutely delicious. The flavor of apples permeated the dish, and it tasted very fresh and clean. The pine accent was neither overpowering or odd, and worked very well with the parfait and apple ice cream. I also really enjoyed the playfulness and texture of strips of "apple leather" strewn about the plate. Refreshing and tasteful; it really woke up my tastebuds.

            Creamsicle, rooibos, squash, orange blossom -- Probably my favorite of the five. The combination of flavors was fantastic and I was delighted by the "creamsicle." Particularly when the vanilla ice cream center spurted out of the tube when I took a corner off with my fork. This was perfect: whimsical, delicious, nostalgic, artfully presented, and highly addictive; again, I felt like my eyes were wide open, enjoying the flavors. We were fighting over the scraps by the end.

            White chocolate cream, black sesame, argan oil, carrot -- Although carrot is listed last in the ingredients list, I found that it really dominated the dessert with carrot ice cream and thin "chips" of carrot flavor decorating half spheres of white chocolate cream. I found the carrot accents to be unobjectionable when combined with white chocolate, but the carrot ice cream was not a winner in my book. The white chocolate was beautiful and tasty, though. I found this dish to be very interesting but the meh-ness of the carrot ice cream was a misstep.

            Coffee cake, ricotta, maraschino, chicory ice cream -- I really loved the chicory ice cream, which was on a bed of soil (chocolate perhaps), and dried cherries. The cherries were a little hard to eat, especially because I wanted a little bit of cherry with every bit of ice cream and soil. I do love that soil, though. The coffee cake portion of the dish was three cubes of soft, fluffy cake, coated in what I believe is some sort of chicory sauce concoction. I found that the sauce overpowered the delicate flavor of the cake, and found it to be a bit bitter for my palette. The "ricotta" was dollops of white sauce, and I didn't find it really added anything to the taste. It was just...there. The ice cream/soil/cherries combination was the winner here and I could take or leave the cake cubes.

            Soft chocolate, avocado, licorice, lime -- How do you improve upon chocolate? I'm not sure I'm the right person to ask here, but for me, this dish was asking how to really bring out the flavors and richness of chocolate, without covering up it's, um, chocolate-y-ness. The soft chocolate was just that -- a gorgeous twisted ribbon of soft chocolate. It looked solid, like some sort of chocolate I-beam, that had been carefully twirled between two fingers, but was the perfect texture and softness when it met my fork. The wonderful high quality chocolate, balanced by the smallest bit of avocado or lime sauce was melt-in-your-mouth heaven.

            Petit fours were juniper and lime marshmallows. They were small, circular, and fragrant. I loved the sugary texture on the outside and the flavor; my boyfriend was not as impressed but he doesn't love marshmallows like I love them.

            My only regret is not having room for a 6th dessert (would have gone for the yuzu).

            1. I had dinner at WD-50 (appetizer, entree) and had the 5 course dessert tasting after and was very very very stuffed. I would suggest having a really light meal before it or ordering a couple of desserts to share.

              1. I agree that I would order for yourself at Degustation instead of the tasting menu. I wasn't crazy about the poached egg and serrano ham that everyone loves... BUT the squid stuffed with braised short rib over lentils is fantastic. Also, their cheese plate was killer!

                4 Replies
                1. re: jdream

                  Is Degustation's portions are large enough to share amongst two people? Or is it like the standard single serving?

                  1. re: chocokitty

                    Neither-- it's small plates. They're designed to share, but I would not consider anything there to be entree size, from what I recall.

                  2. re: jdream

                    degustation tasting in my view is one of nyc's best..... i have had many

                    1. I loved both of these places although I went in the winter and I'm sure the menus have changed. But that being said, we did the tasting menus at both. Next time I go back to Degustation I will order a la carte since I was so stuffed at the end I could hardly breathe and I think it's a better value to do that as well.

                      I loved everything about Degustation- probably one of my new favorite places. Standouts for me were the quail, the langostine and the beef. I did not care for the egg and serrano ham dish. The space it awesome though and their cheapest bottle of white wine is actually a steal!

                      At WD-50 my favorite was the beef tounge and all of the desserts. You really can't go wrong with the sweets. Enjoy!!!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: roze

                        I thought I was the only one who didn't enjoy the egg and ham-- maybe I just didn't get it. The texture was SO unappealing to me.

                        1. re: jdream

                          Hated it- SO loved it! To each their own I guess

                          1. re: roze

                            i thought i was the only one not to like wd-50.. a little too esoteric for me. without the punch of flavor i crave...

                      2. Next time I come back to NYC, I'm going to do 3 or 4 savory courses at Degustation (I loved the asparagus, the croquettas, the scallops, and the rib-eye), followed by the dessert tasting menu at WD-50 (I didn't do the full tasting menu on the last trip, just ordered a la carte, and didn't love any of the savories... but LOVED the desserts).

                        1. We ate at Degustation recently (posted our experience on this site). Again, many thanks to the hounds who gave me advice and suggestions - it made for a most memorable meal. I'm in the camp that loved the asparagus and egg (I don't eat meat and they made it w/out the ham for me). I have not been to WD50.

                          1. Hi Tina,

                            As you can tell from other hounds, there are no concensus on the "must-have" dishes, and I will suggest just go with what the ingredients sound intriguing or are your usual favorites. But I will say a la carte for sure, as for 2 people you can easily order almost everything on the menu. Desserts are their weakest area, so going to WD 50 for dessert tasting sounds like the perfect plan! I have always order dessert tasting there (never tried a la carte), and my favorites are the creamsicle and the soft chocolate.

                            A small note, I know you like to take pictures for your blogs, Degustation doesn't allow you to use flash in the restaurant. But taking pictures without flash is fine.

                            Hope you have some wonderful meals!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: kobetobiko

                              Hi Kobe,

                              I'm going to have to skip Degustation since they don't open on Sundays...darn (but it'll be a future stop though). Did anyone ever tried Esashi for dinner? It's a sushi joint not too far from WD-50.

                              I'll certainly be going to WD-50 for a dessert tasting since I'm going to celebrate my best friend's birthday.

                              In reply to your small note on photos, I never use flash.

                              Thanks everyone!