What an ordeal, trying to find the perfect restaurant to treat ourselves to on our recent weekend trip to NYC. After scouring blogs, yelp!, and restaurant reviews, I finally said: “I just want to try something new and crazy!”
wd-50 to the rescue.
I’ll get right to the food.
We started off with thin as paper sesame crackers and Matt’s huge pour of sake. The crackers were crack. I couldn’t stop eating them.
My appetizer was the shrimp cannelloni, cranberry, daikon, mint for $18. Don’t ever let the descriptions of the dishes fool you. There’s always a twist.
Shrimp wrapped in shrimp. The texture was amazing–tender but firm. The taste a little too shrimpy. The crispy cracker was cheesy and perfect. Cranberries were tart and the powdery coating on top added to their tartness but the mint garnish was fresh and smooth. I could have had a plate full of the cracker and mint.
Matt ordered the aerated foie, pickled beet, mashad plum, brioche for $19.
Matt’s words: “The flavor was perfectly prepared foie gras but the texture was hard to get past.” The light and fluffy cotton candy texture threw him for a loop. Brioche: fun idea but the pieces “felt” stale.
Matt’s main course: Venison chop, freeze dried polenta, fennel, asian pear for $34.
Excellent. No other comment necessary.
My main course: Mediterannean bass, artichokes, bamboo rice, halva, chicory for $31.
Lovely prepared delicate bass (a bone or two). Artichokes were cooked al dente–they are so tasty like this, unlike jarred artichokes in oil. The bamboo rice cakes were a little chewy and bland but were the perfect accompaniment to the other strong flavors, like the chicory.
Matt’s dessert: Soft chocolate, peppermint ice cream, black cardamom, toffee for $15.
Matt: “Tootsie rolls + toffee chews + peppermint ice cream + cardamom flavored croutons = good balance of rich toffee and chocolate with refreshing ice cream.”
My dessert: Caramelized brioche, apricot, buttercream, lemon thyme for $15.
A gourmet fried twinkie. Everything was a different level of creamy and the brioche was understatedly sweet. Apricots dried and slightly crispy. Pure buttercream heaven.
My main complaint goes like this: I guess in Philadelphia we are accustomed to more space. And we only really needed a few more inches of space between the tables to feel like we were just conversing with each other. My thought was that in restaurants where the atmosphere is casual and more friendly, tables squeezed together are more natural and conducive to “group” dining. Because we didn’t really get the casual vibe at wd-50 (although jeans are fine), having your 4 closest neighbors scrutinize you when you eat your food wasn’t very much fun. Maybe it was just our neighbors, I don’t know. I’d like to go back on a week night because we might be able to enjoy our meal more.
The silver lining: this is a restaurant for foodies. Leave all of your expectations on the 4, 5, or 6 and enter wd-50 with a clean slate of taste buds.