Sunday, November 30, 2014

New York City: WD 50 R.I.P.

(Drivebycuriosity) - Today we lose WD 50. The restaurant, named after Wylie Dufresne, chef and owner of the place, was one of the highlights of New York´s Lower East Side. Their rental contract ended because soon their landlord will tear down the one story building on 50 Clinton Street to replace it with a fancy multi-story residental building.

I remember one winter night we spent there. The meal was a lifetime experience. We had one of the tasty menues WD 50 is famous for.

Here some excerpts from the 12 course menue - (in brackets the accompanying wines):

Striped bass, gingerbread, plum, pickled ramp
(Prosecco Superiore "Valdobbiadene" Althe`s NV (Veneto, Italy))

Foie gras, passionfruit, Chinese celery
(Vermouth de Chambéry "Blanc" Dolin NV (Savoy, France))

Scrambled egg ravioli, charred avocado, kindai kampachi
(Arneis "Honea Vineyard" Palmina 2009 (Santa Ynez Valley, California)

White beer ice cream, quince, caramel, caraway

Grapefruit curd, campari, hibiscus, sorrel
(Torrontés "Tardio" Santa Julia 2008 (Mendoza Argentina))

                                   Mecca For Food Enthusiasts

All courses were quite delicious, but it wasn´t just the taste. The variety, the uniqueness and the anticipation before each next step increased the pleasure considerably. The restaurant had a reputation for molecular gastronomy - the use of science to investigate and influence the physical and chemical transformations of ingredients that occur in cooking (wikipedia) - even though Dufresne responded in his interviews sceptically to this term.  And I am not sure if all the space age laboratory devices which are necessary to change the molecular structure of food  - like centrifuges and vaccuum chambers (illumin) - were really at work in the kitchen.

Anyway, Dufresne - "one of the most famous chefs of the world" - (time) is celebrated for the "new techniques and tricks" he uses to generate his creations. Time Magazine calls him "the mad scientist of New York’s kitchens" and praises the "brain-teasing dishes". Reuters marked WD 50 as a "New York mecca for food enthusiasts to taste cutting-edge dishes" (reuters). And the restaurant was a really fun place to go, reported Bloomberg (bloomberg).

Thank you so much Wylie Dufresne and your staff for serving us. We will miss you.

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