Dinner tonight at wd-50.
Tonight was especially noteworthy given that Alex Stupak is the restaurant’s current pastry chef, having recently replaced Sam Mason. It was Mr. Stupak’s third evening. Chef Stupak is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and has been associated with Tru (Chicago), The Federalist (Boston), Clio (Boston) and most recently, Alinea (Chicago).
Shots of the menu:
The “bread” box:
Wine for the evening: 2004 Puligny-Montrachet “La Garenne”
Rouget, corn, pickling spices
Crab “roll”, black bean, mint, pickled ginger tempura
Paper thin slices of beef tongue, fried mayonnaise, tomato molasses, lettuce, onion
Miso soup, sesame “noodles”
Squeeze bottle filled with sesame gluten paste
The idea is to squeeze the gluten into the soup. The gluten sets on contact with the soup, forming “noodles”.
Its interactive molecular cuisine. Cute and tasty at the same time.
Smoked eel, peanuts, snow peas, whipped caramel
Another shot of the eel.
Spring lamb, carob essence, honeydew, edamame (soybeans), pancetta
Another shot of the lamb.
“Cigar” of eggplant, cinnamon and Thai basil
Menthol mousse, lemon balm, chartreuse, melon sorbet
Soft chocolate, avocado mousse, licorice coulis, lime sorbet
My favorite dishes: the foie gras, the beef tongue and the spring lamb in that order.
It doesn’t seem like a lot of food but believe me, it is. Its nine courses paced out over four hours, not counting tea, coffee and after-dinner drinks. We ended up a bit full. I was worried I’d have to dash over to Katz’s Deli for a corned beef sandwich afterwards. Silly me.
Out of 10? A strong 8 to upper-range 8. It’s not for everyone but it’s definitely cutting-edge and worth experiencing. I’d go back in a heartbeat if my wallet could absorb the sticker shock. For a party of three, we ended up paying over $500 with tax and tip included.
wd-50 is located at 50 Clinton Street (between Stanton and Rivington Streets), in the Lower East Side.