By grace.g.yang ยท December 6, 2010
Under: American,Desserts,Dinner,LES,Michelin 2010 Guide,Michelin 2011 Guide,My Life,Prix-fixe,Things to do in NYC

Last week, Cliff flew in from California to attend a conference at the Time Warner Center. Since he was visiting, we decided to make a reservation at wd-50, a molecular gastronomy restaurant run by Wylie Dufresne. I saved the restaurant for Cliff because we visited another molecular gastronomy restaurant together (we went to Alinea for my birthday). As luck would have it, my brother won four tickets to a Mastercard event featuring a demo by Wylie Dufresne AND food by the chef, so I quickly cancelled the wd-50 reservation and made a reservation at L’atelier de Joel Rubochon. I thought the demo would be at the restaurant, instead, it was at the French Culinary Institute in Soho. I’m contemplating whether or not it was an actual wd-50 experience; on one hand, I didn’t visit the restaurant, but on the other, I ate wd-50 food, met the chef, AND saw a demo of how it was prepared. What do you think? Should I go back to wd-50 before the end of the year, or should I count it as a visit?

We started with peekytoe crab roll, salt ‘n vinegar chips, and celery mayonnaise:


Chef Dufresne didn’t do a demo of how to recreate the peekytoe crab roll, however, he told us that he wanted to recreate something that was very familiar but make it in a way that incorporated interesting and unfamiliar ingredients. The peekytoe crab roll was my least favorite dish of the evening; the crab was too finely separated and even though it was an entire roll of peekytoe crab, it didn’t taste substantial.

For our second course, Chef Dufresne made cold fried chicken with buttermilk ricotta, tobasco, and caviar:


Chef Dufresne was saying how some things are better the second day – fried chicken, pizza, and personally, I think Chipotle burrito bowls are a lot better the second day – his team created the cold fried chicken by pressing all of the dark meat together with meat glue and cooking it sous vide for 6 hours. Here’s the chicken:

cold fried chicken 1

The chicken was spruced up with some caviar, had pieces of fried chicken skin, and also had a buttermilk ricotta that added a great tanginess to the dish. Even though it was served cold, it was definitely awesome.

For our third course, we had eggs Benedict, fried hollandaise, and Candian bacon:

eggs benedict

And a picture of the hollandaise:


They separate out all of the egg yolks and cook them slowly in a tube that looks like a Flavor-ice holder at a temperature that makes the egg yolk very curd-like and spreadable. Next, the restaurant makes a hollandaise sauce that they freeze, dip in egg again, and fry (egg fried egg!) The result is an incredibly creamy and rich hollandaise with a slice of crispy Canadian bacon, and slightly thick egg yolk. Decadent, but very delicious as well.

The presentation was really interesting – everyone at the restaurant is truly and artist and they continuously tinker with different recipes and come up with crazy ideas. One thing they haven’t been able to do is create hot ice cream (what a way to mess with your mind!)

Here’s me, David, and Laura at the demo:

david grace laura

For dessert, we had grapefruit curd, campari, hibiscus, and sorrel sorbet:

grapefruit curd

The squiggly ‘s’ is the grapefruit curd and the sorrel sorbet was actually quite refreshing and slightly savory, which was a nice way to complement the slightly tart curd. After the presentation, I spoke with Chef Dufresne and told him about my quest to visit all of the Michelin-starred restaurants before the end of the year:

wylie and grace

He said it sounded like an awesome adventure (it is) and that he hoped I came to visit before the end of the year. So, what do you think – should I visit the restaurant before the end of the year or can I count this as a Michelin visit?

wd-50 on Urbanspoon

Reader Comments

Yes, you should go to the restaurant.

Demo doesn’t count. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Written By TT on December 6th, 2010 @ 2:23 pm

I just had an awesome meal at wd 50 and wrote up about it on my blog. Wylie and Stupak are both genius’s of their crafts.

Written By Teddy Devico on December 6th, 2010 @ 3:51 pm

I agree with TT. I say go to the restaurant. Since you are trying to visit all of the restaurants, I think you have to visit the actual restaurant for it to count.

Written By La on December 6th, 2010 @ 10:43 pm

GRACE! It counts!!!

Written By maddie on December 7th, 2010 @ 11:15 pm

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