As soon as I read that WD-50 will be closing its doors on November 30th, I hopped on opentable to see when I could get the next reservation. Sure, Chef Dufresne has Alder in my neighborhood, but there is something unique and innovative about his first restaurant in LES.
There are two tasting menu offerings available, the tasting menu, and the vault menu. We decided to spring on the tasting menu. One other great thing about WD-50 that I did not appreciate when I first came in 2009 was that we were seated right below a lamp...perfect instagram shots with every bite!
Oyster in its "shell", preserved lemons, snow pea, hazelnut
Egg yolk mashed potato ravioli, caviar, cucumber
Avocado-pea soup, smoked crab, pistachio
Charred chicken liver, szechuan, injera, melon...this was one of my favorites because of the totally "random" assortment of ingredients melded into one superb dish.
Shrimp grits, pickled jalapeno
Milk braised pork collar, sunchoke, black sesame, kaffir
Cured duck breast, curds-n-whey, sweet potato, rice noodles
Nathan pointed out that this was probably a nod to Little Miss Muffet eating her curds-n-whey, with the fried rice noodles shaped to look spider-y.
We were served FOUR dessert courses! My DREAM!
Verbena mousse, strawberry, buckwheat, camelina oil
Apple tart, pomegranate, sorrel, pistachio
I have started seeing a rise in sorrel on menus, I had never heard of it before this year, or, if I had, never paid attention to it!
Ovaltine cake, marcona almond, cardmom, sheep's milk, AKA, my favorite dessert course of the evening.
And, to close out the night, cookie dough ice cream.
Overall: Dining here was a fun, experimental experience. The Tasting menu was $155, and the Vault menu (5 courses) is $90, and wine pairings are offered for both. Even as the waiters described our dishes to us, I couldn't quite comprehend how all the different textures, flavors, sauces, and spices would come together so harmoniously and seemingly effortless. How did Chef Dufresne magically whip these things together? Well, you have a chance at one last hurrah here before it shuts down - better get down there for some curds-n-whey!
50 Clinton Street
New York, New York 10002
Reservations are helpful and easy to obtain on Opentable, if you want to dine in the dining room. A bar menu is also offered in which diners can select two dishes off either menu for $25, and each course thereafter is $15.