Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fabulous Food: WD-50

If you're going to claim to be a foodie in NYC, there are certain restaurants that just have to be on your "must try" list. Per Se (it can't be the #1 restaurant on every NYC list for no reason), Del Posto (to see if it really deserved that 4th Michelin star) and, as the title of this post suggests, WD-50 (because what does "molecular gastronomy" really taste like, Mr. Dufresne?) Ever since I met my boyfriend Patrick a few years ago, this restaurant has been at the top of his "must try" list. For his birthday last week, I decided to surprise him with dinner at WD-50.

Let me start off by saying that I decided to take Patrick to WD-50 in mid-September. When I went on OpenTable.com (a popular reservation website) to make the reservation, I noticed there were only 6pm and 9pm reservations. How could this be? I was looking at dates that were a month out. I figured I'd give them a call. I told them I wanted a reservation at 7:30pm on October 21st. "Would you like to take 6pm or 9pm?" Seriously?! On a Thursday night a month in advance? Now I, too, was intrigued. I took the 9pm reservation and figured we'd just make a late night out of it.

We ended up at a bar in Soho for our friend Sam's last day at her old job before dinner, so we got into a cab around 8:30pm. I whispered the streets to the cab driver and made Patrick close his eyes. I was so excited to surprise him! We finally arrived on Clinton in the Lower East Side and got out of the cab across the street from WD-50. When he noticed the restaurant, a huge smile spread across his face. He looked like a little kid in Disney World. Finally we'd get to eat at the restaurant he's been pining after for years!

We stepped inside and were told our table was not yet ready, which was fine because we were early. We sat at the bar and ordered drinks. I had a fantastically crisp Savignon Blanc while Patrick, as usual, ordered the most intriguing cocktail on the menu, which was a mix of tequila and about 10 other ingredients. He loved it, and we were off to a good start.

When our table was finally ready, we were lead into the dining area and that is when we saw Wylie Dufresne himself in the open-layout kitchen. We were instantly starstruck. Great chefs are huge celebrities to us, and this was truly exciting. We sat down between two couples who were clearly enjoying the $140 tasting menu with $85 wine pairing, and we started to look over the menu.

Before we had decided what we wanted, the waitress came over with a bottle of Rose Champagne. She popped it, put it on our table and said "Happy Birthday, Love Mom." How sweet! Patrick's mom had sent a bottle of champagne to our table for his birthday. Thanks again Mrs. Patty & Mr. George, it was delicious! The bottle was a mix of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and it went perfectly with our meal.

Speaking of our meal. We decided to split 2 appetizers: The first was aerated foie with pickled beet, mashed plum & brioche. The texture of the foie was incredible, much like that of a chocolate mousse. When you took a bite with all the elements on the plate together, the taste was like nothing I'd ever had before.
The second appetizer we shared was the Peekytoe crab roll with salt ‘n vinegar chips & celery mayonnaise. Again, the taste was out of this world. The color of the celery mayo was incredible. The salt 'n vinegar chips added just the right texture and flavor to the crab roll. Patrick and I would take a bite of one of the appetizers and then trade plates until every last bite was gone. If our entrees were going to be anything like the appetizers, we were truly in for a treat.
For dinner I decided on the Duck breast with apple, cheddar & kimchee-cous cous while Patrick ordered the Iberico pork neck with smoked paprika spaetzle, peach & marcona almond. When they came out, I was pleasantly surprised at how large the portions were. Both dishes were cooked to perfection and smelled incredible. The dish with the broth is the duck, and the broth was a cheese-based broth (not butter, as I feared.) As we ate, we traded bites and marveled at how delicious it all tasted. Duck dishes I've had in the past have been both over-salted and rubbery, but this dish was both well-seasoned and very tender. I enjoyed every bite.
Patrick also seemed to love his pork dish, which I thought was one of the most delicious bites of pork I had ever tasted. The spaetzle was a delicious accompaniment to the meat, and the peach and almond added a nice flavor.
When we finished our dinner, we decided we had to try a dessert. As you know, dessert is a course I usually skip, but I already knew they were bringing out a candle for Patrick's birthday so I decided I would split something with him. I let him pick, and he chose the Hazelnut tart with coconut, chocolate & chicory. The dessert was actually more salty than it was sweet, so even I enjoyed it!
When we had finished the last bite, we thought the night couldn't get any better. That was until the waitress took us back into the kitchen to meet Wylie Dufresne himself! Amazing! He was so nice and humble, and it truly made the night one that neither of us will ever forget.
Happy Birthday, Patrick! I can't wait to go back and try the amazing tasting menu!

What is the #1 restaurant you're dying to try? If you could meet any chef, who would it be? My next goal is to meet Tom Colicchio, my favorite chef!

Let's Eat!
-The Fabulous Foodie


  1. How lucky you are to have a wonderful boyfriend who lets you take him to dinner! It sounds like it lived up to the hype.

  2. Reading this entry made me feel like I was sitting at the dinner table with you and Patrick. Usually, I don't like being the third wheel, but this meal sounds like it's worth it! Keep up the great writing.

  3. You're most welcome for the champagne -- (just have to say it was from George as well). I'm ready to eat pretty much everywhere you have described. Such great descriptions -- and pictures.

  4. Thank you also to Mr. George!!!! The champagne was fantastic :)