Last Call at WD-50

December 6, 2014 § Leave a comment

After eleven years, on November 29, WD-50 had its last night of service at 50 Clinton Street and thanks to Wes who managed to snag tickets, some of us were lucky enough to experience Wylie’s Dufresne’s last 12 course tasting menu of his greatest hits with wine pairings. Having been here two times prior, this final meal was definitely the best of the three and I was also surprised by how much I loved the white wine pairings with certain dishes.

It was definitely a bittersweet night…Wylie was walking around talking to customers and our server was nice enough to arrange a kitchen tour and photo with the man himself. WD-50 was actually the first place where I ever ordered the tasting menu and I’ve always loved it for its refined, oftentimes whimsical take on classic dishes and flavor combination, served in a super casual and friendly LES setting with exemplar service.

Now, to the courses…

Pu-pu platter / Salad, beef tongue, cold fried chicken, saffron-coconut ice cream sandwich with Champagne, Billecart-Salmon NV

Small bites with bubbles. Favorites were the beef tongue that was skewered with a ball of deep-fried mayonnaise (yes, you read that right) and the cold fried chicken that came with a tiny scoop of caviar and some fried chicken skin.

Shrimp noodles, tomato and basil with Champagne

A comforting bowl of pasta, except the noodles here are made of shrimp instead of typical flour, eggs and water. Classic Wylie.

Foie gras in the round with Dewazakura “Omachi” Ginjo from Japan

One of the most popular dishes of the night…tiny little pearls of foie gras with chocolate covered crispies and a film of vinegar on the bottom to balance out the richness of the foie.

Scrambled egg ravioli, charred avocado and hamachi with Torrontes “Don David” Michel Torino 2012 from Salta, Argentina

Ingenious “ravioli” where they used egg yolk as the pasta to encase the fluffiest scrambled eggs after. Also loved the tiny tiny crispy potatoes and super-fresh hamachi.

Sake lees bowties, clams and kimchee crisps with Ilias IGP “Kallisto” Mercouri Estate 2013 from Peleponnese, Greece

One of my favorite dishes of the evening – pasta in a briny broth thanks to the clams, topped with these insane crispy kimchee chips that I found myself wishing WD would just mass manufacture so I could buy bags and bags of them. The wine pairing for this course was also ridiculously good and smelled very similar to white peaches.

Bay scallops, sea beans, smoked sable and daikon radish with Lazio Bianco “Fiorano” Alessandrojacopo Boncompagni-Ludocivi 2011 from Lazio, Italy

Another standout – small, perfectly cooked scallops with a smoky sauce from the sable fish. We were all trying our hardest to scrape every last bit of that sauce out of our bowls.

Beef & bearnaise with Pinot Noir “Le Bon Climat” La Fenetre 2008 from Santa Maria, California

A very playful dish and totally unexpected when thinking a classic steak with bearnaise sauce – three fluffy, kinda cute looking bearnaise gnocchi in a very rich beef consomme bath.

Lamb loin, black garlic romesco, pickled ramp, dried soybean with Merlot “Los Carneros” Sinskey from Napa, California

Probably the most traditionally prepared dish of the evening but a still amazingly delicious lamb with a really savory, umami-bomb black garlic romesco.

Vanilla ice cream, balsamic, raspberry

At this point in the evening, things start to get a little fuzzy from all the cocktails and wine pairings, but I definitely remembering busting into this marshmallow-looking, raspberry powder encrusted scoop of ice cream only to find a gorgeously dark and syrupy balsamic vinegar oozing out. Everyone freaked at this dish, which looked so simple from its presentation.

Jasmine custard, chartreuse, cucumber and smoked cashew with Sparkling Apple Cider “La Transparente” Cidrerie du Vulcain NV from Fribourg, Switzerland

I had this dessert the first time at WD-50 and it was probably one of the most memorable courses from that meal because it was so refreshing and new. A layer of cucumber ice on top with this almost bacon-y cashew crumble and once you cracked through the top, a dreamy custard below.

French toast with St. John Commanderia NV from Cyprus, Greece

“French toast” that was black-out good. Super crusty and crispy on the outside and almost custardy in the middle paired with a raisiny and not-too-sweet dessert wine.

Mignardise

Our last course at WD-50 (though we really, really didn’t want it to end) – an assortment of mignardises, including these little balls of gjetost, a Scandinavian whey cheese covered with a layer of white chocolate, that I had at my first time at WD-50, mini churros and something like a pate de fruit. We were all definitely kind of depressed to realize we’d never be back in this particular space, eating this kind of food. To cope, we hilariously (and very drunkenly) decided to drown our sorrows in some Disney-focused karaoke at nearby Karaoke Boho. A super hi-low and perfect kind of night.

Thanks so much to Wylie and the entire team at WD-50 for treating us so well over the years and consistently delivering course after course of amazing food…it was truly one of, if not the most delicious meals I’ve ever had and I can’t wait to see what you do next!

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