Friday, August 17, 2012

WD~50 Molecular Restaurant Review (New York)

There aren't that many places in the world where one can have the opportunity to eat molecular food. As New York City is one of them, I took advantage of a recent trip there to have dinner at renowned chef Wylie Dufresne's WD~50 restaurant.

First off, let me say that I was surprised by the relatively casual setting of the restaurant which is not necessarily a negative point. If you're sitting at a table, you only have two options: the "Tasting Menu" and "From The Vault". Both are preset menus, the former representing the latest take on molecular gastronomy of the chef and the latter focusing on his all-time classics. We decided to order the tasting menu with wine pairing as it had more items and we wanted to try as many different dishes as possible.

Dinner started with a molecular Grey Goose Dirty Martini with a 2D paprika oil disk just to be in the mood for the molecular dishes to come! This 2D disk is a nice and original attempt at replacing olives with something less common. Then came the "Nigiri, Salsify, Seawed, Sesame" which I found to be tasty and interesting in structure:

Followed by the "Lobster Roe, Charred Lemon, Green Grape, Coriander-Brown Butter":

Then came the "Pho Gras" which I really enjoyed. It consists of Foie Gras, noodles and a broth:

"Amaro Yolk, Chicken Confit, Peas 'N' Carrots":

"Veal Brisket, Za'Atar, Plum, Mustard": this was without a doubt the highlight of the meal. I loved the combination of plum & mustard and the texture of the veal:

"Crab Toast, Saffron, Kaffir-Yogurt, Arare": very original presentation and interesting taste:

"Sole, Black Licorice-Pil Pil, Fried Green Tomato & Fennel": I would say that there was a bit too much licorice for me to enjoy it:

"Lamb Sweet Breads, Nasturtium-Buttermilk, Zucchini, Pistachio": though I'm not usually a fan of Sweet Breads, I did like it:

"Root Beer Ribs, Rye Spaetzle, Apricot": although I do enjoy root beer, this was just too much for my European taste buds. This is the only dish I did not finish (and actually barely touched):

"Jasmine, Cucumber, Honeydew, Chartreuse": Very interesting combination:

"Yuzu Milk Ice, Hazelnut, Rhubarbn Basil": fabulous dessert:

 And finally: "S'Mores, Bitter Cocoa, Meringue, Black Currant":

All in all, I would say it was a satisfying experience although it did not live up to my expectations. I found the molecular aspects of the dishes not as impressive as I would have thought. I wouldn't recommend ordering the wine pairing with the tasting menu probably because it is too generous and I found myself overwhelmed by the amount of wine and unfinished glasses at the end of the meal. Service was very attentive and professional.


RSVP said...

A must-see restaurant for everyone looking for experimental cuisine and a no-no for those seeking comfort food.

fr8d said...

Indeed! Thanks for your comment :-)