Monday, May 01, 2006

wd 50 - my first gourmet tasting

Before last night I thought going out to dinner meant one of two things. Either my friends and I would go to some kitschy dive, with mediocre food, but strong drinks and a raucous atmosphere; or my family and I would head into Chinatown for some delicious Peking duck. Although both experiences are fond memories, neither of them contains much culinary prowess worth writing about. Last night my twin brother and I went to Wylie Dufrense's wd~50 for our twenty-fourth birthday. For those who don't know, wd~50 is one of the top avant-garde restaurants in the world, pushing both the envelopes of taste and presentation; and based on last night's meal, I would say they are leading the pack.

Last night's meal, was no mere meal: it was a culinary event that challenged the tongue, the eye and the wallet (thanks mom and dad, ps please don't kill us). My brother and I decided to indulge in the full tasting, paired with wine for what would culminate in three-hour dining experience for the books. What follows is the laundry list of culinary genius:

Dry tuna, pureed pistachio, chocolate chips, celery (paired w/ a sparking Rosa from Italy)
Coconut, cinnamon, cadimen and something else, it looked like a sunny side up "egg"
Foie gras, candied olives, green peas, beet juice (paired with Midera)
Octopus, celery pesto, pineapple, mojama, marcona almonds (greek wine)
Pickled beef tongue, fried mayonnaise, onion streusel (more wine, so much wine)
Miso soup, mushrooms and make your own noodles (what's that, top us off? Thanks)
Pork belly, sauerkraut spaetzle, swiss cheese consomme, romaine (wiiiiiiiiiiine)
Turbot, salsify, smoked bulgur, coffee-saffron (vino, mas vino)
Frozen tangerine, olive oil, basil, salt, (dessert wine)
Kumquat confit, carob ice cream, soy caramel (sweet saki, I think)
Butternut sorbet, pumpkin seed cake, chocolate soil, mole (wine)
Caramelized banana, smoked chocolate ice cream, stout (it just never stopped)
Twelve-year-old Scotch from the low lands.

Needless to say, my brother and I were full and in high spirits by the end of the meal. Our friend, Sam, just happens to be the pastry chef at wd~50, so the desserts just kept on coming. The best part of the night came after my brother and I had befriended this eccentric millionaire and his mistress sitting at the table next to us. The millionaire turned out to be a huge foodie, who had an answer for every question my brother and I had about our dinner. During the dessert tasting, my brother asked him to explain the concept of confit and how it can be applied to fruit. The millionaire explained how confit is the process of cooking something in its own fat, but in the case of this kumquat, "they pretty much just braised this bastard and generally fucked us."

All in all dinner was the highlight of the evening and meal to talk about for years, and as long as our parents don't cut us off completely, we'll be back next year (or next week) for sure.


At 8:45 PM, Blogger AYC said...

hah, nice to see that despite all the hating on our SXSW planning blog you went and started one yourself!

totally jealous about the food options up there.


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