NYC: Barbuto

November 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

Barbuto
775 Washington St
New York, NY 10014

(212) 924-9700

http://www.barbutonyc.com/

Despite my love for something so simple as a perfectly tender roasted chicken with a crisped skin delicately draped in its own sticky fat and the knowledge that Barbuto is famous for making an extremely respectable roasted chicken, I found myself most willing to let go of this reservation on my weekend New York trip because it simply seemed the least interesting in comparison to the sea of unique experiences available there.  We kept our reservations anyway although my mind was distracted with memories of the intricate nature of my meal at WD~50 the night prior and filled with expectations of David Chang’s meal later that evening.  I was too busy hung up on the tenacious memory of Ssam Bar’s simple yet immensely flavorful duck bowl from a previous visit, and I was curious to try some of the things I had recreated from the Momofuku cookbook to see how they compared.  What about all the more obscure Asian dishes that I was likely to find in New York that I can’t as easily find at home?  So many things kept my mind busy, and all I could think was how even chicken even at the hand of Thomas Keller’s Bouchon had lately disappointed me.  So I took my seat in the casual, yet chic space lit by virtue of the garage-style bank of windows that allowed much light to enter and reflect gently off of the cream tiled walls and industrial metal accents.  And oddly enough once the food arrived, I found my thoughts of other foods dissolved once I began to marvel at Barbuto’s fare for reasons of its simple, yet comforting flavors in a way that I didn’t expect to be so inspiring.

This simple-looking salad ended up being quite inspiring to me. Click here to read more.

NYC: WD~50

November 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

WD~50
50 Clinton Street
New York, NY 10002

(212) 477-2900

http://wd-50.com/

I recently had the luxury of being spoiled with my first elaborate tasting menu at WD~50, a place known for molecular gastronomy, deconstruction of classic flavors, and other whimsical stylings that’s been in NYC’s lower east side since 2003 and held on to a Michelin star since 2006.  To many, it’s a culinary mecca of this style of food, and Chef Wylie Dufresne and his talented crew are well equipped to expertly guide you through either a 6 or 12 course tasting menu of their accomplishments.  While excited to go here, I was a bit conflicted due to the hype as there’s always that fear of being disappointed at such a high price tag, but if anything, my refusal to build up too much excitement ended up working out in my favor as I was able to experience each dish without expectations.

Also of note, they seem quite accommodating to food preferences and allergies tailoring courses all the way to vegetarian, but not quite to vegan–to quote another similar restaurant on the matter of pairing down a tasting menu to vegan restrictions, “I’m sure it wouldn’t be worth it anyway.”  Of course that’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with eating that way, but in an environment that celebrates creativity and diversity of food, you’re best off eating whatever they choose to serve you without hesitance.  I ordered the menu with no restrictions, and here is my dialogue of the 12 course tasting that was presented to me in November of 2012.

the duck blind

Scotch, sherry, smoked maple, cocoa oil

This is just the drink! Click here to read about the full 12 courses at WD~50

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