Robb Report Vices

A New Year’s Meal to Remember

  • Shaun Tolson

From the moment its doors first flew open on April 9, 2003, on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, wd-50 has served as New York’s mecca of modernist cuisine. Gourmands with a penchant for the inventive, avant-garde dishes served up by Wylie Dufresne know that the chef’s menu changes frequently; however, diners who have visited the restaurant more than once over the past month likely have noticed that there’s been far less movement on the menu. The reason? Since the final week of November, Dufresne and his team have focused their efforts on an eight-course tasting menu for New Year’s Eve. As the chef explains, it’s the only time of the year when every dish is brand new; and for the adventurous souls looking for an exclusive dining experience, it’s a chance to try a dish that might not reappear on the menu. “Some of them find their way onto the [regular] menu and some just live on as a memory,” Dufresne says.

One of the eight courses set to debut on December 31 is a reinterpretation of the traditional Alsatian dish choucroute garnie. The elevated sausage-and-sauerkraut dish is composed of homemade boudin-blanc sausage (made with black truffles), which is paired with caramelized sauerkraut. Dufresne’s lips are sealed when it comes to the other courses planned for the special menu, but looking over past New Year’s offerings—lamb-shank ravioli served with black-cumin consommé and smoked duck breast served with spaghetti squash and a parsnip “ricotta”—one can safely assume that patrons won’t be disappointed.

The eight-course tasting menu costs $195, with optional wine pairings for an additional $115. Two seatings are scheduled for New Year’s Eve (6:00 to 7:00 pm and 8:30 to 9:30 pm), and guests who stay until midnight will enjoy a Champagne toast. Ringing in the new year with one of New York’s most inventive culinary artists? For fine-dining enthusiasts, there may be no better way to kick of 2014.

wd-50, 50 Clinton St., 212.477.2900

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