Wylie Fun Time
The day following my return to Eleven Madison Park, I went to WD-50. No, WD-50 is not the next gen. version of WD-40. It stands for Wylie Dufresne (the name of the chef) and 50 Clinton street. During my last trip to New York, I was surprisingly blown away by the food. However, when you have such a high expectation in your head, there’s a greater chance of dissapointment. However, this was not the case. If anything, it was better.
WD-50 offers two menus; a ten course Chef’s tasting, as well as a Five Course (as well as an amuse and mignardise) tasting menu “from the vault”; past dishes from their repetoire. Also, they offer a two course prix-fixe menu at the bar for $25, and $15 for each additional course. I chose to order the Full tasting menu, and let my server know about my seafood aversion, but she managed to talk me into having one seafood course.
I was given a copy of the menu so that I could follow along with the meal. I didn’t like this. I kind of hate it when a tasting menu has menu items on it. It ruins the surprise and wonder of what’s to come.
This was my first substition. I believe it was picled fennel with deep fried ricotta. Yeah, deep fried ricotta. It was amazing, and the best thing about that dish, but not to say that the rest of the dish wasn’t as good.
Pho Gras. An obvious play on pho. The broth was poured table side and i slide the torchon of foie gras into the broth, as well as the noodle. It tasted nice, but I don’t like my foie gras in broth. The crispy tendon was there for texture.
Pinenut Cassoulet, boudin blanc. I liked the idea of this dish, but there were too many bites of pinenut that it got to be too much. Thomas Keller spoke of diminishing returns; after two or three bites, you kind of lose that “wow” factor. That was certainly the case with this dish. It was good, but after three or four bites, it got to be too much.
Pig’s Tail, Artichoke, Olive Oil Jam, Hazelnut. This was an amazing dish. The pig meat was bound together (probably by transglutaminase aka. “meat glue”) and fried. The Hazelnut was a “cheese”. It was emulsified and frozen, then grated.
Flat Iron, Mushroom Jerky, Grape, Verjus. The mushroom really was a jerky. I don’t know how they did it, but I wish I could have a large bag of it as a snack. I would say that this was probably my favorite, if not second to the Pig’s Tail.
Unfortunately, I am writing this blog almost a month after the meal, which is why I’ve forgotten a lot about my meal. I can however, tell you that WD-50 should be on your list, and near the top of it. The food was amazing and fun, and my server was so good, if I were a restauranteur, I would have tried to poach her her then and there (despite how douchey that’s considered to be). So go make a reservation, and if need be, book a flight to New York, because you’ll have a great time there.
50 Clinton St,
Manhattan, New York
Tags: Dufresne, Gastronomy, LES, Lower East Side, Manhattan, Michelin, Modernist, Modernist Cuisine, Molecular, Molecular Gastronomy, New York, New York City, NYC, Tasting Menu, WD-50, WD50, Wylie, Wylie Dufresne