oops. without curse words this time.
i wrote the below note to eater a few months ago but they didn't publish it. i want to post it here in hopes that at least one person will be saved from this tragedy of a restaurant.
wd-50 fans dismiss detractors by assuming they don't get molecular gastronomy, or are tourists with unsophisticated palates. in my case, i've eaten at aliana in chicago and loved every minute of it... the unique flavor combinations and presentation were outstanding. i'm also not a tourist, and like to think i know at least a bit about good food and good restaurants.
and no, i'm not an angry waiter who got fired.
so bring it on chowhound, agree or disagree?
i have a great idea for a new feature. it will be called “WD-50: are you f*cking kidding me?” and it will be a weekly column from now until the end of time.
some colleagues and i needed to schedule a work dinner this week. since i am the one who reads the blogs and gets all emotional about good restaurants, they let me pick. i settled on WD-50, making sure to share the menu with them upfront as it is fairly unusual food. everyone was into it.
we decided against the tasting menu [thank you, jesus] and ordered a range of appetizers. my squid noodles were okay, not much flavor, but the foie gras was poorly cooked and flecked with “dehydrated basil seeds reconstituted in ginger water” or some such horseshit. completely tasteless. the tartare was fine; the accompanying béarnaise ice cream was not even remotely fine.
as the waiter cleared our appetizer plates, everyone tried to remain positive: “at least the salmon threads were well seasoned.” “my mayonnaise was perfectly fried.” alright, i thought. not a great start, but maybe the entrees are where dufresne really comes through.
the entrees were an abortion. in fact, they were probably less appetizing than an actual abortion. my scallops were paired with some sort of grain (quinoa, i think) that may have been cooked with a handful of tropical starburst fruit chews. the lamb tasted like it was boiled in a bag, and the red pepper tart just tasted like someone made a mistake. if i were being fair i would say that the mediterranean bass with cocoa and brittle peanut was actually pretty good, but i am not being fair so f that.
desserts were no reprieve – the saffron cream, paired with shortbread, tasted EXACTLY like windex (i have tasted windex). the yogurt parfait was served with pine, apple, and pineapple. get it? isn’t that fun? no, actually, it is not fun. it is gross.
i have certainly had my share of disappointing meals; i have even had many outright bad meals. but i have never been to a restaurant where nearly everything i ate tasted like a dare.
you guys don’t usually publish unsolicited reviews, but i didn’t know where else to turn. WD-50 must be stopped. the emperor has no clothes, my friends, because wylie dufresne has stolen his clothes and put them in an immersion circulator with powdered elderflower and shrimp sheets.