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wd50: difficulty of walking in to bar area, and anyone split tasting menus?

v
valcfield Jul 31, 2012 05:58 AM

is the bar area (i'm assuming this is their only walk in spot?) easy to walk into? party of 2 hoping to go in on saturday, probably show up at opening (i just have no idea if this place commands like, a line pre-opening or not).

also, the gf and i share everything, and haven't been to wd50 before, and so were possibly hoping to order 1 vault menu and 1 regular tasting; has anyone done this before and know if they'd be game? we don't care about plate sequencing/different things coming at once; just want to be able to try as much as possible. (i suppose, technically, we could order a tasting menu then do a la carte or something off the vault..)

last question, anyone know if they'll do a mixed drink pairing or flight of any sort. on this one, the gf doesn't drink, and i'd like to try as much as possible without, you know, getting trashed/paying a lot of money to leave drinks half full.

thanks for the help!

  1. sgordon Jul 31, 2012 06:08 AM

    That's a bit iffy. You'd probably want to call them and ask first - some of the courses on the tasting menus might be one-bite amuses and such. They'd probably accomdate you somehow - technically, you could order the entirety of both menus a la carte, though it would wind up costing you a little more than the menu prices proper.

    They're very good at pairings. They have a few cocktails designed to go with dishes already - i.e. the "Pho Cup" with the "Pho Gras" - but hard alcohol with food is a tough pairing in general. Best to mix it up a bit. Also, keep in mind if you're mixing menus, some of the pairings from one might clash with pairings from the other.

    Saturday night walk-ins can be tough, but if you're there right at opening (or a little before - maybe shoot to be there at 5:30) it shouldn't be a major issue. Very few New Yorkers eat that early, so it usually won't start getting super-busy until around 7:00.

    6 Replies
    1. re: sgordon
      v
      valcfield Jul 31, 2012 06:12 AM

      got it thanks for the help- yeah i should be clear that i more am not looking for a drink that will 'pair' so much as just an ability to do a tasting of different drinks. which, indeed, may be wishful thinking on my part...

      1. re: valcfield
        k
        kathryn Jul 31, 2012 06:24 AM

        Making "flights" or "mini servings" of cocktails for just one person is troublesome from a bartender's perspective, my friends in the industry tell me. Recipes are sized for a full serving. It's hard to do 1/2 a dash of an ingredient or 1/8 oz of a liquor and maintain accuracy in a busy bar. I think they'd make the recipe to specs and throw half away, if pressed for time.

        1. re: kathryn
          v
          valcfield Jul 31, 2012 06:29 AM

          yeah, i was thinking of that myself, especially with places that go into a long list of ingredients. a few places do some fun flights though, and in dc and boston i've come across a bar or two with specifically designed smaller drinks (sometimes mimicking the larger ones, sometimes not) offered at lower prices (great for variety, also great when bringing friends who don't understand what the standard cocktail price has become).

          on the other hand, with a place like wd-50, where some drinks (at least looking at the menu) are more technique-than-ingredient heavy (in terms of numbers, not quality), similar to say, a lot of the drinks at booker and dax, i wonder if it's easier to cut recipes? not that this means they should offer it, just musing.

          1. re: valcfield
            k
            kathryn Jul 31, 2012 06:36 AM

            Those are also both cities where the current craft cocktail culture is much newer and where people drive home, so not exactly a one to one comparison.

            I bet most bars would make you a half drink but still charge you $14.

            Here's some of the WD-50 cocktails, as you can see not all can easily be halved.
            http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2012/06...

            1. re: kathryn
              v
              valcfield Jul 31, 2012 06:40 AM

              haha i've read that before :). much of the coverage around the switched up menu (plus his talk at the harvard science + cooking series...) is what has galvanized the stop (hopefully) this weekend. and i agree, some of those drinks (and some of any menu's drinks for that matter) will never cut easily. i'll be sure to update with whatever results if i make it by...

              edit: oh i was wondering- when you say they're newer, do you mean to say that you think as they mature they will ditch those options, or that because they're newer they're more likely to experiment with that idea? i suppose i think it could go either myself, though if prices do continue to edge up closer to the $20 dollar mark, i'd be surprised if some places didn't experiment with ways to cut that number down.

              1. re: valcfield
                k
                kathryn Jul 31, 2012 06:56 AM

                Some of the craft cocktail places in Midtown are already charging close to $20.

                Because places in other cities are newer, they sometimes need to ease their audience into paying more for high quality drinks, IMO.

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