Fine dining may just be the best pick-me-up ever. And when you’re already feeling good, fine dining is just a phenomenal thing. Such was the case for me a couple weeks ago when my wife took me out for my birthday dinner. Our destination was WD-50
, the NYC outpost for Wylie Dufresne. Wylie has a very distinct cooking style, focusing on combining different flavors – ones that wouldn’t normally be considered – to come up with options that are truly strange, but in a good way. The mix of textures, flavors and ingredients, not to mention cooking styles, ends up with a menu that is confusing as hell to read, but sublime to taste. Rather than going for the canned tasting menu that is offered, we chose to make our own tasting menu of sorts. And so we had three apps, two entrees and three desserts. Sure, it was a lot of food, but it was so good we didn’t mind too much. Among the highlights:
- Grilled octopus, avocado, juniper, lychee-campari
- Smoked eel, blood orange zest, black radish, chicken skin
- Wagyu flat iron, coffee gnocchi, coconut, cipollini, sylvetta
- Pork belly, smoked yucca, romaine, papaya
And that was the one that made me cry. I’m not entirely sure why, but there was a combination of flavors that I just couldn’t contain myself on. The pork belly was incredibly well prepared but the smoked yucca was the key. According to the waiter the smoked yucca is based on a smoked mashed potato side that used to be served back in the day. In this case, the smoked yucca were cubes of shredded smoked yucca. The smoky flavor ties back to the pork in such a way that it actually tasted like it might have been fried in pork fat rather than “healthy” oil. I’m not saying it actually was healthy, but I’m guessing it was better than fried in pork fat.
Anyways, we also had a few desserts, including the Soft chocolate, avocado, licorice, lime
and Fried butterscotch pudding, mango, taro, smoked macadamia. Both were quite delicious, though I’m still not sure how licorice, lime and avocado taste so good when mixed with chocolate.
And so, if you have the means, I highly recommend the WD-50 dining experience. It isn’t an everyday type of meal, but it is certainly worthwhile for a celebration.
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