Last weekend I went down to Manhattan for the weekend with the Girlfriend, and had wanted to try a new resturant. Having combed OpenTable, Chowhound and Yelp, I was surprised to see an open reservation at wd-50 for Saturday night, pre-theater hours. wd-50 is Wylie Dufrense’s resturant, his style of cooking easily described as molecular gastronomy. Take a dish, deconstruct it, and put it back together in an incredible preparation and presentation.
The meal did not disappoint, below are pictures of what we had.
Sweetbreads, peanut, beet-pomegranate, pickled sweet potato:
Having heard about sweetbreads for a while, and having never tried them before, I couldn’t resist. The dish was incredibly rich and savory, while not being over the top. You definitely did not taste the fact that you are eating the thymus glands of lamb, beef, and pork. The sweet potato was like nothing I had ever had, the perfect acidity while also realizing you are eating a sweet potato.
By far the dish that blew us away the most. In the cubes is the Hollandaise sauce. Still liquid, it is encased in a bread-crumb cube, that splits when you send a fork through it. The ham sliced thin, and not quite crispy, but just the right bite to it when combined with the other dishes. The egg cooked until firm, but not hard.
Foie gras, fennel, malt, sherry vinegar jam
This is the dish I knew the least about, which made me the most curious. Having heard Foie Gras always associated with very fine food, I could not pass up the chance of eating it in a very unique presentation. Foie Gras, easily explained, is the fattened liver of a duck or goose. The malt and sherry vinegar jam was just the right sweetness to offset the rich texture of the foie gras. It was incredible, something hard to describe, and something I’ll definitely get again.
Turbo, barbecued lentiles, cauliflower, dried apricot
This dish my girlfriend got, which was quite tasty. While I found the turbot a little on the fishy side, the barbecued lentils were incredible, smoky and a little sweet. I found the dried apricots a little sweet, but incredible none the less.
Lamb loin, green apple, chartreuse, green-tomater tots
I ordered the lamb for dinner, which was one of the most flavorful pieces of meat I have ever had before. I waver between medium and medium-rare, never really sure how much of a pink center I want. This came out perfectly cooked of course, with just a little bit of fat on the meat. I wasn’t sure about the celery accompanied it, since I find that other more flavorful vegetables could be used, but these were a great addition. The apple cubes while good, although were missing that strong apple taste that I expected. Also quite good but low on the expected-taste mission, were the green tomato tots. I expected more tomato flavor, and got more of a potato tot taste.
We paired our meals with a red and white wine for myself and my girlfriend respectively, which worked out very well. I had a couple glasses of a 2005 Grenache old vines ‘tor ‘na ‘nong, from South Australia. Moderately priced, with an almost merlot-like body to it.