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WD-50: report (long)

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Restaurants & Bars 3

WD-50: report (long)

shortstop | May 7, 2003 12:00 PM

Had dinner last night at WD-50...

We started with artichoke soup with mussels, chorizo and tangerine oil. It comes with a quail egg perched atop of a strip of crispy chorizo. You stir in the quail egg and crumble in the chorizo to complete the dish. Delicious. The soup is velvety and flavorful, the mussels cooked just so, and there are wisps of what I later realized was probably tangerine rind (while eating it I thought it was lemon) that added quite a lift to what was our favorite appetizer of the three we had.

Next up was Red shrimp with chickpea flan and shiso pesto. Unfortunately, for me, the clunker of the night. The shrimps were split in the shell and basted with a cinnamon butter. I am not a sweet with savory food person, so this dish did not appeal to my palate. The first bite was good and then it seemed to grow fishy as it went on. The chickpea flan (with dried tiny shrimp on top) seemed grainy and didn?t do much for me. I needed (and wanted) a few bites of the black sesame seeded papadums (sp?) that were on the table to clean my palate before the next course. The artichoke soup left us wistful for more and salivating for the next dish, the shrimp left me wanting the next dish to arrive so I could get its taste out of my mouth, and move onto something more interesting.

My dining companion had the scallops with ramps. I am not a scallop fan, so did not taste this, but the comment was that the artichoke soup was the clear winner of the apps.

Onto the mains. I had skate with a tangle of shaved asparagus, lemon gnocci with hazelnuts, and a smoked scallion emulsion. Outstanding. The smokiness of the scallions hit my nose the minute the plate came near the table and the lackluster shrimp were but a distant memory ? this was a great dish. The skate was crispy on the edges, just how I like it, and the smoked scallion emulsion tasted as good as it smelled. The shaved asparagus had a subtle (very) pepper kick to it and along with the lemon gnocci made the plate sing.

My dining companion had the beef, which I was too full to taste, but I did taste the bone marrow tart that accompanied it. Yowza.

Desserts were o.k., but we could only find two choices we were really interested in ? and I am a dessert lover. Also, for $10 I thought the portions were somewhat skimpy and not in keeping with the portion sizes for the rest of the meal, which I thought were generous. We had the banana caramel tart: a thin (very) strip of shortbread/cake with caramelized bananas on it, in a pool of black licorice sauce, with a small scoop of vanilla custard and a small scoop of chocolate ice cream. We also had the parsnip cake (which I liked better) a bit like carrot-cake lite, topped with a thin layer of nut brittle, a scoop of coconut sorbet and a thin carrot tuile. Tasty. I just would have liked a smidge more. By the way, in terms of concept, the desserts totally work with the rest of the menu, they are just not to my taste.

With the check they bring cocoa-dusted corn nuts, which I had no interest in trying, as I was not going to ruin the taste I had in my mouth from dinner.

All-in-all an interesting experience. Transcendent? No. A wonderful meal? Yes. Worth trying? Absolutely.

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